Review of Chemical hazard based occupational health assessment methods for chemical processes

Swee Ling Phneah, Mimi Haryani Hassim*, Denny Kok Sum Ng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Hazard and risks are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but in reality, they are used in different context. In simple terms, hazard is basically something that exists all the time which is likely to cause damage whereas risks only appeared when there are exposures to the hazard. In chemical process industry, the occupational hazard caused by exposure to chemicals is quite difficult to detect, because some chemicals exist in a form which cannot be seen and are odourless. As a result, the workers who work in chemical process industry tend to have higher risk exposure to hazardous chemicals than in other industries. The reported cases of work-related diseases have been increasing yearly -This indicates that there is an urgent need to take into account the occupational health impact on worker's health when developing, designing and operating a chemical process. Several occupational health assessment methods are available on the literature review to assess occupational health hazards generated from chemical processes. Several regulations such as OSHA 1970 (United States) and OSHA 1994 (Malaysia) have been gazetted to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for the workers. This indicates that occupational health issues in the chemical industries have drawn much attention from public, business companies and policy makers. With growing concern over the issue of chemical exposure among workers in chemical industries, it is expected that there will be more methods to be introduced in the near future. This could give rise to the difficulties faced by users in selecting the most appropriate method that cam meet their needs and are within their constraints. As for current practice, upon interested in applying any of the available methods, the users need to put additional effort to first conduct a literature review and analyse each of the said methods in order to find the most suitable one that can be used for their process. The result of this research is to produce an occupational health assessment framework, which aims to provide a systematic guideline on how to select the most appropriate and reliable method from all the options available. However, the result presented in the paper only covers the finding from literature review. The future work of this study will be developed an occupational health assessment framework by combining all the existing occupational health assessment methods into a single framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1813-1818
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Engineering Transactions
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering


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