The Department of Occupational Health Surveillance (NOA)

The Department of Occupational Health Surveillance (NOA) at STAMI is the national surveillance system for working environments and occupational health in Norway. The department’s tasks are to coordinate, systematize and disseminate knowledge about working environments and health to public authorities, social partners and stakeholders. This knowledge should help decision-makers to design targeted actions that will prevent work-related ill health, injuries, exclusion from the labour market and death. 

NOA’s main objectives are to:

  • Collect and improve relevant data and information and make them accessible.
  • Evaluate and disseminate the most important information to the public.
  • Produce regular reports to the Government and the Parliament to enable them to take informed political action.
  • Improve the basis on which the Government and industries prioritise target groups, action areas, and strategies.

NOA is going to serve:

  • Political and labour inspection authorities.
  • The parties involved in the labour market; businesses and trade unions.
  • Scientists and research groups.
  • The general public.

Surveillance of occupational health and safety requires access to information on health outcomes (e.g. occupational diseases and injuries, work-related morbidity and mortality, and occupational disability), hazards or exposures (e.g. chemical, ergonomic and psychosocial factors) and relevant background factors. 

The surveillance activity involves data about labour force demographics, the occurrence and distribution of health hazards at Norwegian workplaces, work-related health outcomes including injuries, and activities aimed at the modification or elimination of risks.

Our main challenges are to make data originally obtained for purposes other than occupational health surveillance relevant to our users, and to ensure correspondence between individual data from different sources, e.g. to link data on industries and occupational titles from national labour market statistics with data on work-related complaints, illnesses, diseases and injuries. We obtain data on sickness certification and disability pensions from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration’s records.

Every third year, Statistics Norway carries out a population survey with a modified panel design and a sample size of around 20,000, which provides the surveillance system with both cross-sectional and longitudinal data of particular interest for trend analyses. Our website presents updated data on the current status and trends for all exposures and health outcomes that are relevant to the working environment. 

Fact book on working environments and health 2021