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NIOSH practices in occupational risk assessment
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  • Description:
    "Exposure to on-the-job health hazards is a problem faced by workers worldwide. Unlike safety hazards that may lead to injury, health hazards can lead to various types of illness. For example, exposures to some chemicals used in work processes may cause immediate sensory irritation (e.g., stinging or burning eyes, dry throat, cough); in other cases, workplace chemicals may cause cancer in workers many years after exposure. There are millions of U.S. workers exposed to chemicals in their work each year. In order to make recommendations for working safely in the presence of chemical hazards, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts risk assessments. In simple terms, risk assessment is a way of relating a hazard, like a toxic chemical in the air, to potential health risks associated with exposure to that hazard. Risk assessment allows NIOSH to make recommendations for controlling exposures in the workplace to reduce health risks. This document describes the process and logic NIOSH uses to conduct risk assessments, including the following steps: 1) Determining what type of hazard is associated with a chemical or other agent; 2) Collating the scientific evidence indicating whether the chemical or other agent causes illness or injury; 3) Evaluating the scientific data and determining how much exposure to the chemical or other agent would be harmful to workers; and 4) Carefully considering all relevant evidence to make the best, scientifically supported decisions. NIOSH researchers publish risk assessments in peer-reviewed scientific journals and in NIOSH-numbered documents. NIOSH-numbered publications also provide recommendations aimed to improve worker safety and health that stem from risk assessment." NIOSHTIC-2

    NIOSHTIC no. 20058767

    Suggested citation: NIOSH [2019]. Current intelligence bulletin 69: NIOSH practices in occupational risk assessment. By Daniels RD, Gilbert SJ, Kuppusamy SP, Kuempel ED, Park RM, Pandalai SP, Smith RJ, Wheeler MW, Whittaker C, Schulte PA. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2020-106, https://doi.org/10.26616/NIOSHPUB2020106

    2020-106.pdf?id=10.26616/NIOSHPUB2020106

  • DOI:
    10.26616/NIOSHPUB2020106
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