While the reporting of an occupational disease is compulsory in most states, the system presently used leads to an accumulation of morbidity and mortality statistics, the greater portion of which are completely worthless. The diagnosis of an occupational disease is not subjected to the same scrutiny for accuracy as is a communicable disease diagnosis. Its medical, legal, and economic importance has not been sufficiently stressed. The prevention of an occupational disease is becoming increasingly difficult due to the vast number of new chemicals and new processes being introduced into the industrial environment. A partial solution to obtain proper diagnosis and reporting of occupational disease lies in supplanting the present system of allowing a careless brief report. A modified narrative form which would demand concise information regarding the history and the nature of exposure, signs, symptoms, laboratory data, and basis for conclusions is a necessity.
Rutherford T. Johnstone. OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES-DIAGNOSIS AND PROPER METHOD OF REPORTING. JAMA. 1958;168(14):1844–1847. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000140006002