How does determining whether illnesses and injuries are related to work help prevent occupational injury and illness?
Through investigations of worker illnesses and injuries, we can obtain new information that a workplace condition is harmful to human health. This is especially true when the workplace association may not be well-established or documented. Information on human health effects, in particular long-term health effects, is lacking for many chemicals used in workplaces. For example, HESIS did a medical investigation of asthma in a worker with skin exposure to paint. What we learned was consistent with information from animal studies on the toxic effects of isocyanates. The case added to our understanding of occupational asthma and the human health effects of isocyanate-containing products, which are widely used in workplaces.