Saf Health Work.  2017 Sep;8(3):231-236. 10.1016/

The Health and Occupation Research Network: An Evolving Surveillance System

  • 1Centre for Epidemiology, Institute of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
  • 2Centre of Occupational and Environmental Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
  • 3Biostatistics, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
  • 4Primary Care, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


Vital to the prevention of work-related ill-health (WRIH) is the availability of good quality data regarding WRIH burden and risks. Physician-based surveillance systems such as The Health and Occupation Research (THOR) network in the UK are often established in response to limitations of statutory, compensation-based systems for addressing certain epidemiological aspects of disease surveillance. However, to fulfil their purpose
, THOR and others need to have methodologic rigor in capturing and ascertaining cases. This article describes how data collected by THOR and analogous systems can inform WRIH incidence, trends, and other determinants. An overview of the different strands of THOR research is provided, including methodologic advancements facilitated by increased data quantity/quality over time and the value of the research outputs for informing Government and other policy makers. In doing so, the utility of data collected by systems such as THOR to address a wide range of research questions, both in relation to WRIH and to wider issues of public and social health, is demonstrated.


Keywords; incidence; interventions; methodology; occupational; surveillance
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