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- The ARC - California Edition -

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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 employers.

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, lighting).

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 regulatory agency.

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 workerís death was related to workplace conditions.

One of the reportís 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 NIOSHís 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.


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