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Development, use, and availability of a job exposure matrix based on national occupational hazard survey data.

Sieber WK Jr.; Sundin DS; Frazier TM; Robinson CF
Am J Ind Med 1991 Aug; 20(2):163-174
The development, structure, content and possible uses of a job exposure matrix (JEM) based on the National Occupational Hazard Survey (NOHS) performed in 1972 to 1974 by NIOSH were described. The NOHS studied 4636 nonagricultural facilities employing at least eight workers. Minimum exposure guidelines included sufficient proximity of an agent to a worker such that body contact or entry was likely and exposure duration of at least 30 minutes per week (annual average) or once weekly exposure for 90% of work year weeks. When these guidelines were met, a biological, chemical or physical agent was recorded for potential worker exposure. NOHS obtained data and assigned unique hazard codes to 8342 potential exposure agents. The JEM included three classification levels: industry, occupation within industry, and potential exposure within such occupation. Each level contained data unique to that level. The JEM functioned as a computerized database useful for determination of potential chemical or physical exposures in occupational situations. Two examples of use of the JEM were presented. In one, occupational settings with potential worker exposure to elemental lead (7439921) were listed. JEM included 59 lead compounds in 98 industries. Potential exposure was determined for 3280 workers in 66 occupations within 59 industries. Industrial or occupational groups in which at least 50 workers were potentially exposed was also determined. Another example used vital statistics data with JEM for determination of exposure classifications by usual occupation and industry of employment in a hypothetical case control study. In this example, associations of ionizing radiation exposure with leukemia or aplastic anemia were sought. Advantages, limitations and availability of the NOHS JEM system were discussed. The authors conclude that applications of the NOHS JEM might include occupational and environmental health research data analyses and record based epidemiological studies.
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-health; Occupational-hazards; Analytical-methods; Occupational-exposure; Information-systems; Case-studies; Lead-compounds; Industrial-exposures; Author Keywords: occupational exposures; surveillance; industry; occupation; National Occupational Hazard Survey; NOHS; lead; case-control study
W. Karl Sieber, Jr., Ph.D., National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, 4676 Columbia Parkway, R-19, Cincinnati, OH 45226
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Journal Article
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American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division