The Vale do Rio dos Sinos, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, encompasses fourteen cities with a total population of roughly 1.3 million. At the close of the twentieth century, the state's largest industrial employer was the footwear industry concentrated in the Vale dos Sinos region. This labor force is employed mainly in manufacturing, commerce, and services. The article describes the epidemiological profile of work accidents (WA) in the region and discusses the role and relevance of the workers' health surveillance system. Created in 2000, the State Health Department's Worker Health Information System recorded 645 WAs between 2000 and 2003. This information on WAs is still incomplete, since a large part of the region's municipalities underreport these and because of the great number of subcontracted workers, who are part of the informal labor market and work out of their own homes.
work accident; surveillance system; worker health; Vale dos Sinos