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Conducting worksite investigations.

Bernard B
Occupational and environmental health: recognizing and preventing disease and injury, 6th edition. Levy BS, Wegman DH, Baron SL, Sokas RK, eds. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011 Jan; :726-737
A health care worker developed a severe case of H1N1 influenza, despite being given 3 surgical mask to use when caring for a patient. A poultry processing worker, standing and cutting chicken legs every 3 seconds on an evisceration line, developed eye irritation and a nagging, persistent cough at work, especially when spraying chicken meat. Prisoners used claw hammers to demolish old video display monitors to reclaim recyclable metals. They had heard that the powdery dust covering them might contain heavy metals. A dealer at a casino worried about constant cigarette smoke filling the air. A man was not surprised when his doctor told him he had hearing loss. He had worked for many years at an animal shelter, where the dogs, kenneled in cement stalls, barked loudly every time he walked by. There are many reasons why public health practitioners conduct onsite workplace investigations. Most workplaces have fewer than 100 employees and do not have onsite occupational safety and health specialists. Employers often rely on consultants for assistance. This chapter lays out the general principles of workplace investigations, concerning recognition of potential hazards, preparation for onsite investigations, conducting these investigations, making useful and practical recommendations, and proactively intervening to implement them. After identifying uncontrolled hazards, exposures, or working conditions, the goal is controlling or reducing them to acceptable risk levels - or eliminating them entirely - and then to ensure that periodic reevaluations are done as part of routine operations.
Occupational-health; Environmental-health; Health-hazards; Employee-health; Public-health; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-performance; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Occupational-diseases; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Industrial-processes; Injury-prevention; Disease-prevention; Accident-prevention; Environmental-control; Environmental-technology; Control-technology; Engineering-controls; Risk-analysis
Publication Date
Document Type
Levy BS; Wegman DH; Baron SL; Sokas RK
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Occupational and environmental health: recognizing and preventing disease and injury, 6th edition
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division