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New occupational health risks: service industries, an example.

Melius J; Frazier T; Sundin D; Seligman P
NIOSH 1986; :91-93
Occupational health problems associated with service industries were discussed. Due to the recent shift in American industry from manufacturing to service oriented industries, greater attention to occupational safety and health problems in service industries was needed. This required identification of major occupational health problems in service industries. Identifying problems would be difficult because most occupational safety and health efforts have focused on manufacturing industries. NIOSH surveillance programs for identifying occupational health and safety problems in industry, some of which could be used in service oriented industries, were reviewed. These included two major surveys of American industry, the National Occupational Hazard Survey of 1972 to 1974 and the National Occupational Exposure Survey of 1981 to 1983, along with the Health Evaluation Program providing consultation to 500 worksites annually, interactions with state health departments to improve occupational health surveillance systems, and evaluation of workers' compensation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the State of Ohio. Examples of occupational health problems in service industries uncovered by these programs were provided. Selected hazards in service industries were tabulated. These included indoor air pollution, microbials, asbestos (1332214), pesticides, and polychlorinated-biphenyls (1336363) for office workers, problems associated with video display terminals and carpal tunnel syndrome in computer workers, and diesel fumes, vibration, solvents, and asbestos exposure in transportation workers. Chemical exposures to hospital and waste disposal workers and firemen, along with noise for firefighting and waste disposal and heat stress for the latter were listed. The authors conclude that surveillance data obtained by NIOSH thus far has limitations for describing occupational problems in service industries; however, they provide valuable information on potential problems and can be used to target efforts to evaluate and control problems.
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-health; Information-systems; Industrial-safety; Health-protection; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Occupational-hazards; Epidemiology
1332-21-4; 1336-36-3
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Source Name
The Changing Nature of Work and Workforce, Proceedings of the Third Joint US-Finnish Science Symposium, Frankfort, Kentucky, October 22-24, 1986, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division