Impact of NIOSH Risk Assessments
Risk assessments have direct impact among the occupational safety and health community, providing quantitative information on hazardous chemicals, of particular use to employers, workers, researchers, safety and health professionals, and standard- and recommendation-setting organizations.
Employers and Occupational Safety and Health Professionals
NIOSH risk assessments support NIOSH authoritative recommendations to reduce hazardous exposures to workers. Employers and occupational safety and health professionals can use this information to take precautionary measures to minimize exposure to workers from these hazards. These measures can include elimination, substitution with less hazardous chemicals, engineering controls, and the use of personal protective equipment.
NIOSH uses risk assessments in authoritative recommendations to reduce hazardous exposures to workers. OSHA has incorporated NIOSH risk assessments into workplace standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also used NIOSH risk assessments to support environmental assessments. State agencies and other entities setting occupational exposure limits have used NIOSH recommendations based on risk assessments.
NIOSH work on risk assessment methods has had an impact on the field of risk assessment by expanding the methods available and better characterizing exposure-response model uncertainty. Risk assessment methods development is a critical focus to provide the most statistically sound risk assessments. Methods to improve risk assessment modeling and characterization of model uncertainty include model averaging and semi-parametric modeling. These methods are important to assessing risk as often data regarding a particular hazard are scarce; these methods allow NIOSH staff to maximize the utility of available data.