Health Risk Assessments
The aim of a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) is to identify health hazards, evaluate their risks to health and determine appropriate control and recovery measures. Given the multi-faceted nature of health and the responsibility of employers to provide a secure and healthy workplace, it is essential that a systematic approach be used to evaluate the potential for individual harm and protect against any adverse exposure.
The health risk assessment process is broadly applicable to all activities within the oil and gas industry. HRA addresses the life cycle of any operation, and takes account of all employees, contractors and third parties at work.
A health risk assessment should be performed at the earliest stage of a project or operation, reviewed periodically and revisited when there is a significant change or as required by local legislation.
The HRA process outline is described below:
There are five key factors that influence the effects of potential health hazards:
Time period of exposure;
Level of exposure (dose);
Mode of exposure (e.g. contact, inhalation or ingestion);
Characteristics of the causal agent.