Health Hazard Evaluations Available
Do you know if your workshop program has any health hazards?
Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
are currently conducting a health hazard evaluation program which is focusing on
the occupational health concerns of developmentally disabled workers and their
The issues typically addressed during a NIOSH health hazard evaluation include
worker exposures to toxic agents (exposures to airborne dust, chemical liquids,
vapors, and gases) , and to physical agents (noise, heat, cold, radiation,
NIOSH is a federal agency responsible for doing research in workplaces and
making recommendations that will prevent occupational illnesses and injuries.
NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is not a
The agency has the goal of providing information to sheltered workshop managers
and employees that will help them ensure a safe and healthy workplace. There is
no charge for their services.
A recent NIOSH report containing a Health Hazard Evaluation of a sheltered
workshop addressed issues including Hepatitis B, exposures to airborne dust and
solvents, and whether a worker’s death was related to workplace conditions.
One of the report’s recommendations was that workers with developmental
disabilities would benefit from increased management awareness of worker
exposures and a more proactive approach to occupational health safety.
The Arc of the United States is urging that chapters which operate workshop
programs take advantage of NIOSH’s expertise and willingness to assist in
preventing injury or illness.
Currently there are NIOSH representatives available to visit your workshop or
other programs to conduct a health hazard evaluation with you. If you wish to
learn more about this program, please call Steve Lenhart at NIOSH (800-356-4674
or 513-841-4227) and discuss your questions with him.