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A job exposure matrix for identification of potential exposures in occupational settings.

Sieber WK; Seta JA; Young RO
Proceedings of the 9th international symposium on epidemiology in occupational health. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-112, 1994 Jan; :351-356
A job exposure matrix (JEM) for linking job titles with potential occupational exposures was described. The JEM was developed by NIOSH using data collected during the 1981 to 1983 National Occupational Exposure Survey (NOES). The NOES was a cross sectional walk through of conditions in 4,490 nonagricultural businesses in the US employing eight or more employees. The JEM included exposures to 14,000 chemical, physical, or biological agents observed in 377 occupations and 521 industries. The JEM used a three way classification system incorporating industry, occupation within industry, and potential exposures within occupation and industry. All information contained within the JEM was broken down by gender and size of establishment workforce. The JEM actually consisted of a computer file of 590,000 records stored on magnetic tape. The JEM was so large because many of the exposures occurred in many different occupations and industries. Industry, occupation, and agent were coded by the four digit 1972 Standard Industrial Classification code, the 1980 Bureau of the Census occupation code, and a five digit hazard code developed by NIOSH. The JEM could be used to construct a profile of potential exposures to specific agents in various occupational and industrial settings. This use was illustrated using lead (7439921) as an example. More than 50 employees in each of 53 occupations across 73 industries were identified by the JEM as being potentially exposed to lead or its ores. The authors conclude that the JEM is a compact representation of data collected by the NOES that contains an inventory of occupational exposure agents classified by industry and occupation. Despite the disadvantage of being limited to facilities and employees originally surveyed in the NOES and being based primarily on potential exposures, the JEM should be a useful tool for studying occupational diseases.
NIOSH-Author; Job-analysis; Epidemiology; Heavy-metals; Occupational-exposure; Lead-poisoning; Information-systems; Risk-factors; Communication-workers
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Proceedings of the 9th international symposium on epidemiology in occupational health
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division