Objective: To estimate the extent of occupational disease morbidity and mortality in Canada by comparing and contrasting four different data sources.
Data sources: 1) Canadian National Workers' Compensation Boards Statistics, 2) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusted to Canadian Workforce, 3) California Physician's First Reports adjusted to the Canadian Workforce, and 4) proportionate model of overall disease incidence obtained through literature review.
Main findings: Each data source was limited in its ability to provide a true estimate of the extent of morbidity and mortality due to occupational disease in Canada. Collectively, an estimate of between 77,900 and 112,000 new cases of occupational diseases and 2,381 to 6,010 occupational disease deaths were obtained.
Conclusions: Occupational diseases are a significant and under-estimated cause of morbidity and mortality in Canada.