Occupational Health Survey of the Chicago Metropolitan Area (Revised)

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 71-10255

Occupational environmental factors affecting the health of the Chicago working population (2.25 million workers in 120,000 establishments) were assessed. Based on earlier studies, this “universe” was narrowed to 1.5 million workers in 14,000 workplaces. The survey sample actually included 803 establishments employing 260,000 workers. In more than 10,000 plants, one or more employees is at risk to an occupational health hazard, a total of one-third million workers exposed to potential hazards. About 900 of these plants have conditions bad enough to warrant immediate corrective actions. In depth studies of these plants by industrial hygienists are necessary to determine the extent of action necessary. About 3000 additional plants require corrective action within one year. In three out of four plants surveyed, management did not recognize existence of any health hazards in their plant. More than half the plants surveyed had sanitary deficiencies, primarily in small plants where inadequate eating facilities existed. Only 40% of the plants noted in their records when absence was the result of illness; only 10% noted what type of illness. The majority of workers are covered by workman’s compensation insurance. About 95% of in-plant employees are covered by either the presence of an in-house physician or the availability of one on call. Over 30% of the plants give preemployment physical examinations; less than 20% conduct periodic physical examinations.

Page last reviewed: March 28, 2017