American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2001 Jun; :54
This poster summarizes the activities of the Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance (HETA) Program of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The HETA Program responds to requests from employers, employees, employee representatives, other Federal agencies, and State and local agencies. Through a staff of industrial hygienists, engineers, occupational physicians, epidemiologists, other health professionals, and support personnel, the HETA Program conducts health hazard evaluations (HHEs) to determine if chemical, physical, biological, or other agents are hazardous to workers. Control procedures, improved work practices, and medical programs may be recommended to reduce hazardous exposures and prevent adverse health effects. The results of individual evaluations may trigger wider studies of similar exposures in other settings, or may stimulate recommendations for implementation or modification of health standards. More than 10,000 evaluations have been completed since the inception of the HETA Program in 1972. Recently, the HETA Branch has begun to prepare internal annual reports, publish HHE summary documents, and develop an internal evaluation program. The annual reports present information about requests received and projects closed, personnel, and non-HHE activities. Over the past five years, HETAB has received an average of 350 HHE requests per year and closed an average of 340 HHEs per year. Of the requests received, approximately two-fifths have involved one or more site visits, two-fifths were closed with an informative letter, and one-fifth were legally invalid. The most common health effects reported on the requests were respiratory and neurologic, but not all requests reported symptoms. Of the projects involving site visits, 30 to 40 a year were closed within six months. Many HHEs have involved similar exposures or health effects and the HETA Program has started to publish summary documents for some of these, including tuberculosis, lead exposures, isocyanate exposures, firefighting, and wastewater treatment.
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana