OPRA (IRELAND)

OPRA, a constituent scheme of THOR has been collecting data on occupational ill health in the UK since 1996. The Republic of Ireland (RoI) Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has agreed to fund an OPRA (IRELAND) project starting in January 2007. This initiative has the support of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) and Dr Peter Noone who is the Faculty liaison for this project.

The purpose of this reporting scheme is to:

  • Estimate incidence rates for work-related ill health by occupation and industry
  • Identify apparent clusters associated with exposures not hitherto known to present a high risk of occupational disease

Ethical approval for OPRA, as well as SWORD and EPIDERM, in the Republic of Ireland has been granted by the Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

Reporting to OPRA (IRELAND)

Participating consultants report electronically a limited amount of information (see guidelines) on a monthly basis. Reporting involves providing details (in confidence) online of any new cases of occupational disease/work-related ill health that the physicians see during the reporting month. Name, initials or date of birth of the worker affected are not required but the following details are:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Reference number of your choice (optional)
  • Diagnosis
  • Month of onset
  • Occupation
  • Industry sector (no company or trade names are required)
  • Suspected causal agent
  • Postal town or district

During any one month a reporter may not see many new cases, but even single cases or nil returns are important to us. The data collected contributes to 'national statistics' as well as other research ‘outputs’ but we protect the confidentiality of the reporting doctor, worker/patient and workplace.

Why report to OPRA?

Participation in the reporting scheme provides consultants with access to information from OPRA (while always protecting confidentiality) for example on reports of work-related ill health that may be of interest. Participants will receive summary reports electronically every quarter including data on occupational respiratory disease from SWORD (Ireland) and on skin disease from EPIDERM (Ireland). Participants can also contact the THOR team at any time with data requests, which are dealt with as soon as possible, and there is also an evolving programme of online education and information for participants. In addition, physicians who wish to be more actively engaged in the project (e.g. with related research projects) will be encouraged to do so.

Who should report?

Consultant occupational physicians have been invited to take part in this scheme, but their returns may include patients seen by other physicians working for them who do not report to OPRA independently. Alternatively they can delegate the responsibility for reporting to their specialist registrar (trainee).

How to become an OPRA reporter?

To become an OPRA reporter, please contact Susan Taylor via the contact details below. User account details along with reporting guidelines and other information will then be dispatched. Please contact the OPRA project assistant with any queries.

Reporting online

OPRA (IRELAND) reporters who would like to submit returns online can access the online reporting form via the 'login' below. Please note: To access this form, you will need login details (obtained after registering using the link above).

Patient information sheet

Further information for patients requesting details on THOR, see: THOR patient information sheet (PDF, 8 KB)

OPRA (IRELAND) project contact

The contact is Susan Taylor:
susan.taylor@manchester.ac.uk
+44(0)161 275 5531

OPRA (IRELAND) champion

Dr Peter Noone (RCPI):
noone.p@maile.HSE.ie