Definitions

health hazard

Health Hazard Evaluation Program

The Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) program is administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is a study of a workplace that is done to learn whether workers are exposed to hazardous materials or harmful conditions.

A NIOSH HHE can be requested in the private sector and Federal workplaces by an employee who is currently an employee at the workplace of concern and has the signatures of two other employees. If the workplace has three or fewer employees, the signature of only one employee is enough. An officer of a labor union that represents employees for collective bargaining can also request an HHE and any management official may request an HHE on behalf of the employer.

When the workplace is part of a State or local government, NIOSH authority is more limited than for the private and Federal sectors. The cooperation of the employer may be necessary before NIOSH can do an evaluation.

NIOSH will not reveal to the employer the names of the persons who made the request if they indicate this on the request form.

How does the request process work?

Employees, authorized representatives of employees, or employers can request an evaluation of possible health hazards associated with a job or workplace. Requests for HHEs must be in writing to NIOSH and must specify those work areas and potential hazards which need to be evaluated.

Further details regarding submission of a request can be found on the NIOSH website at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/Request.html

What happens when you make a request?

On the basis of the information you provide, NIOSH responds to an HHE request in one of the following ways:

• NIOSH staff responds in writing with helpful information or a referral to a more appropriate agency.

• NIOSH staff calls to discuss the problems and how they might be solved.

• NIOSH staff visits the workplace. When this happens, they will meet with the employer and the employee representatives to discuss the issues. They will tour the workplace. They may review records about exposure and health, interview or survey employees, measure exposures, and do medical testing. These activities may happen during one or more visits. At the end of this evaluation, NIOSH will provide a written report to the employer and to the employee representatives. This can take from a few months to a few years, depending on the type of evaluation.

References

NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program Accessed September 19, 2007

External Links

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/default.html

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/Request.html

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh

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