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April 21, 2010

NIOSH Offers No-cost Worksite Health Hazard Evaluation Service

The NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) program evaluates new or recently discovered hazards, illnesses from unknown causes or exposures to chemical, biological and working hazards not regulated by OSHA. It is done to learn whether workers are exposed to hazardous materials or harmful conditions. NIOSH responds to HHE requests by:
  • Sending helpful information or a referral to a more appropriate agency
  • Calling to discuss the problems and how they might be solved
  • Visiting the workplace. When this happens, they will meet with the employer and employee representatives to discuss the issues and tour the workplace. They may review records about exposure and health, interview or survey employees, measure exposures and do medical testing. At the end of this evaluation, NIOSH will provide a written report to the employer and to the employee representatives.
For example, an evaluation at one facility found workers were being exposed to manganese and other chemicals. NIOSH investigators recommended the employer install local exhaust ventilation to reduce worker exposure to dust.

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