& Environmental
College of Human Medicine


Surveillance of Work-Related Silica Exposure in Michigan

In 1988, The State of Michigan instituted a tracking program for silicosis with financial assistance from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  The tracking program is a joint project of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) in the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), the MIchigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan State University (MSU).  The goal of the tracking program is to prevent silicosis through the reporting of index patients.  The reporting of the index patient is regarded as a sentinel health event that may lead to the identification of other employees from the same facility who are at risk of developing silicosis.

There are four major souces used to identify persons with silicosis:

  • Reports from physicians (both private practice and company physicians)
  • Reports from hospitals
  • Claims filed with the Workers' Compensation Agency, the Michigan Silicosis, Dust Disease and Logging Indusry Compensation Fund
  • Death Certificates