The Occupational/Environmental Health Risk Appraisal: Moving Toward a Consideration of Total Risk.
Use of the Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) was reviewed from the point of view of adapting it to an integrated evaluation of personal health habits and environmental exposure. Methods of measuring hazardous occupational or environmental exposure were considered. For industries with known hazardous exposures, the annual surveillance examination was used to track early signs of disease. For small industries or organizations with varied and low risk hazards, involvement of the worker in awareness and surveillance of the environment was more feasible. Although exposures and exposure risk could be determined only through knowledge of injury and illness rates, these rates did not acknowledge the amount of disease or death that was prevented, nor could they account for incompleteness of reporting. Methods of ascertaining the empirical knowledge of workers about hazards were reviewed. Certain working conditions were found to have predictive value for the presence or absence of occupationally related disease. The possibility that knowledge of risk categories could lead workers to maladaptive behaviors was discussed. An occupational and environmental risk assessment was conducted for state health department workers using a walk through survey of the workplace, with exposures addressed in a check list format. Information about most prevalent exposures at work and at home was provided in tip sheets to be included in a health education program. Integration of the hazard data obtained with workman's compensation and personal reports of accidents and health problems also gave direction to the risk reduction program.
Occupational-health-programs; Worker-health; Risk-factors; Health-protection; Industrial-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-health; Risk-analysis; Health-standards; Occupational-safety-programs;
Developmental Projects on Worksite HRAs (NIOSH), Selected Papers of the 21st Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, November 25, 1985, Society of Prospective Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, L. A. Miller, Ed.; pages 1-4, 11 references