Occupational Health and Hygiene Risk Assessment

A Risk assessment is a critical element of occupational health risk management. It is a process whereby one:

Identifies hazards

Analyzes or evaluates the risk associated with that hazard.

Determines appropriate ways to eliminate the hazard or control it if elimination is not practical.

Practically, a risk assessment involves a thorough examination at the workplace with the aim of identification of things, situations, processes, etc that may cause harm, particularly to people. After identification is made, one evaluates how likely and severe the risk is, and then decides what measures should be in place to effectively prevent or control the harm from happening.

Typical health risk assessments in terms of hazardous chemical substances aim to determine exposure by any route of intake. Such assessments typically take the following into account

  • the type of hazardous chemical substances (HCS) an employee may be exposed to,
  • health effects associated with exposure,
  • the physical form in which the HCS may be present,
  • task analysis to determine when? how? where? exposed,
  • evaluation of existing control measures, and
  • frequency and duration of exposure