Occupational Risk Assessment

Overview

Occupational risk assessment is a method for estimating health risks from exposure to various levels of a workplace hazard. Understanding how much exposure to a hazard poses health risks to workers is important to appropriately eliminate, control, and reduce those risks. The aim of a risk assessment is to answer three basic questions:

  • What can happen?
  • How likely is it to happen?
  • What are the consequences if it does happen?

NIOSH conducts risk assessments on chemical hazards including carcinogens and non-carcinogens; physical hazards such as noise, radiation, musculoskeletal injury; and other hazards such as shift work. These assessments provide the scientific basis for NIOSH recommendations.

Page last reviewed: February 9, 2017