Bureau of Environmental Health Services - Occupational Health & Safety Surveillance

occupational health and safety surveillance

The Iowa Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance Program is part of the Iowa Department of Public Health Acute Disease Prevention, Emergency Response, and Environmental Health Division. The program focuses on Iowa data surveillance related to worker health and safety. The IDPH OHSSP is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and includes the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance program (ABLES). 

Iowa Department of Public Health OHSSP

  • Compiles and analyzes Iowa data for national Occupational Health Indicators
  • Compiles and analyzes Iowa data for Healthy Iowans: Iowans Health Improvement Plan 2017-2021.
  • Partners with other programs and agencies to address work-related hazards and health issues impacting Iowa workers - see links below.
  • Responds to work-related events requiring public health assistance, including conditions requiring mandatory reporting, Iowa Administrative Code 641 Chapter 1 PDF.
  • NOTE: Funding for the Pesticide Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk (SENSOR) program, and the Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) ended July 2015, but prior information is still available.

Did You Know?

  • Final data for 2019 demonstrated a slight drop in fatal occupational injuries in Iowa, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting 76 deaths, or a rate of 4.7 worker deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. 
  • Iowa continues to have a higher rate of work-related fatal injuries than the U.S., which had a rate of 3.5/100,000 FTE in 2019.
  • The three industry sectors in Iowa with the highest rates of fatal occupational injuries in 2019 are Agriculture* (24.5), Construction (6.3), and Transportation and utilities (19.2).
  • IDPH OHSSP calculations of 2014-2019 data show that an average of 17% of the Iowa workforce by industry sector averaged 58% of the work injury fatalities:
    • Agriculture*: 6% of the workforce, 27% of the work fatalities.
    • Construction: 7% of the workforce, 19% of the work fatalities.
    • Transportation and warehousing: 4% of the workforce, 14% of the work fatalities.

*The AFFH sector includes agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting but for Iowa, 99.5% of these fatal occupational injuries are related to agriculture. 

In the News Resources

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Iowa OHSSP update:


Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, Suicide, Mental Health

Fentanyl Worker Safety

Methylene Chloride

Partner Reports

IDPH Occupational Health Program Resources

Iowa Data and Related Information

Occupational Health Indicators

Iowa OHI Summary chart  PDF NEW

Background information about the national OHI project can be found on the CSTE website.

Burden of Occupational Injury in Iowa 

IDPH OHSSP Annual Reports

IDPH OHSSP - Other Findings, Related Information

Agriculture and Rural Health & Safety 

Farm Progress Show Health and Safety Tent Update

The 2020 Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days were canceled. In a statement posted on June 29, 2020 their website announced "In the best interest of our visitors, exhibitors, partners and staff, Farm Progress has made the difficult decision to cancel both shows in 2020 due to rapidly changing conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The Iowa Department of Public Health Occupational Health & Safety Surveillance Program (OHSSP) coordinated and hosted six Health & Safety Tent areas at the Farm Progress Show Iowa site from 2008 - 2018 (even years when held in Iowa). Information regarding the 2018 Health & Safety Tent are listed below.

Other Ag Resources

Links to program partners