Engineering and Physical Hazards Reports
NIOSH conducts research on engineering control solutions for reducing exposures to air contaminants and on physical hazards such as noise and non-ionizing radiation. The engineering control research focuses on identifying, developing, and assessing practical, solutions-oriented interventions that reduce occupational exposures to air contaminants. The physical hazards research concentrates on identifying and measuring physical hazard exposures as well as developing measures to protect workers from these hazards.
Both engineering control and physical hazards research can be conducted in either the laboratory or in the field. The reports listed below describe three types of documents created as a part of that research:
- Laboratory. Laboratory research is frequently conducted to test ideas that need further refining or would be difficult to evaluate in the field. While this research often moves to field testing during in-depth surveys, laboratory research is documented in detail in reports, including discussions of methods, results, conclusions, and recommendations.
- Walk-through (or preliminary). Walk-through or preliminary surveys are conducted to become familiar with a particular facility or industry. These surveys are normally of short duration and will include very limited exposure monitoring and engineering control performance data.
- In-depth surveys. In-depth surveys are of longer duration and include extensive data on worker exposure assessments and engineering control performance. These are normally the basis for detailed recommendations for protecting workers from specific hazards in a given industry.
Kenneth R. Mead, PhD, PE
Branch Chief, NIOSH DFSE Engineering and Physical Hazards Branch