Risk Assessment

Any efforts to evaluate occupational health risks such as those identified in Toxicity of Nickel Compounds must start with good data collection. This includes not only monitoring workplace exposures (discussed in Chapter 7), but assessing the health of individual workers with the ultimate goal of keeping the worker healthy and reducing the overall risks in the work environment. It is not enough to monitor workers periodically, programs must be implemented in ways that allow for the systematic collection of data that can be used in epidemiological studies and, subsequently, risk assessment. In some countries, implementation of a health surveillance program is obligatory. In such instances, any company-based surveillance program should be in compliance with the relevant local/ national guidelines. Developing infrastructure and systems that support consistent data collection and storage requires effort, careful planning, and an adequate allocation of resources. It means enlisting the total commitment and cooperation of the most senior members of the management team (starting with the CEO) to the most junior constituents of the labor force. A number of specific steps have been identified as being basic to setting up a data collection system for quantitative risk assessment (Verma et al., 1996; ICME, 1993). These are discussed below, in a modified form, with particular reference to nickel where appropriate.

See the full report on the NiPERA website.