Industrial hygienists have accomplished much in evaluation of recognized workplace hazards. However, considerably less attention has been given to the prevention of hazardous exposures. The classic Hierarchy of Controls favors preventive strategies — hazard substitution and elimination strategies. Yet there is little evidence that industrial hygienists pursue these strategies in practice. When controls are mandated, industrial hygienists implement "end of pipe" controls such as local exhaust ventilation. In the environmental world, advocates have made progress in establishing "pollution prevention" as a primary approach. Pollution prevention attempts to avoid the shifting of risks or media, such as between the workplace and the environment via a vent stack, or between the air and solid waste via a filter, by reducing the use of toxic substances in the production process itself. The authors will present their assessment of the status of preventive strategies in industrial hygiene practice. Additionally, they will report on findings from a survey of industrial hygienists' perspectives on the barriers and opportunities for a greater role for "process change" techniques for worker protection. Finally, they will share their model for a preventive approach and integration of workplace and environmental protection.
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the Hierarchy of Controls and the environmental protection hierarchy. 2. List some of the conflicts and points of cooperation between environmental and worker protection strategies. 3. Construct a model of strategies for the prevention of workplace and environmental hazards
Keywords: Workplace Safety, Primary Prevention
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA