A new Italian surveillance system for occupational injuries: characteristics and initial results

Am J Ind Med. 2012 Jul;55(7):584-92. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22025. Epub 2012 Feb 21.


Background: Occupational injuries research and surveillance is important for prevention and public health protection. A new occupational surveillance system based on linkage of work histories calculated from the Italian National Social Security Institute (INPS) and occupational injuries provided by the National Insurance Institute for Occupational Injuries (INAIL) was created and assessed.

Methods: It has been extracted a 1% sample of individuals from INPS. For each subject, a detailed description of the career has been compiled between 1985 and 2004, and matched on an individual basis to work injuries between 1994 and 2003. It has been calculated injury rates and risks by economic activity, gender, age, job tenure, country of birth, and firm size.

Results: The linkage success is very high both in engineering than in the construction sector. The comparison with Eurostat statistics is very positive. The injury risks calculated by job tenure, country of birth, and firm size are consistent with literature. The high injury rate for short work contracts remain unvaried also after controlling by age.

Conclusions: It is finally possible to describe injuries based on some main characteristics of the recent changes in the labor market, such as precarization, ageing of workers, migration, that databases currently available in Italy do not allow. The sample is longitudinal and can contribute to describing the development of the phenomena over time. The Ministry of Health is completing procedures to extend the sample and to increase the health outcomes for which a follow-up is available.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult