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Exposure Assessment Program

What do LBNL workers need to know about Exposure and Hazard Assessment?


Every LBNL worker has a right to a safe workplace. In addition to physical hazards this also includes protection from overexposure to chemicals. LBNL requirements for safe exposure to chemicals are set forth in 10 CFR 851, DOE’s “Worker Safety and Health Program” rule. This regulation establishes safe work practices, necessary training, and allowable limits to help assure worker protection. One part of the requirements (10 CFR 851.21) specifies the need to identify and assess workplace hazards, including the potential for employee exposure. These assessments can be conducted via multiple methods, which include representative air monitoring, estimation, or other modeling.

Based on standard practices, it can be determined that some routine activities, such as use of small quantities of low hazard chemicals, in enclosed systems, may not need additional evaluation. The process of making these determinations is referred to as “Hazard Assessment” and is initiated and completed as part of the Job Hazards Analysis (JHA). A more rigorous process is “Exposure Assessment,” which involves a systematic evaluation of a work activity. These assessments are normally conducted by LBNL Industrial Hygienists, from the Environment, Health, and Safety Division and may be initiated from JHAs, employee requests, walkthroughs, or other means. Some activities have been characterized and may not need further evaluation.

LBNL’s Industrial Hygiene Group is updating the Exposure Assessment Program and the JHA to assure that potential exposures are evaluated and that workers are properly protected. For more information on Exposure Assessment, contact your Division Safety Coordinator or EH&S Liaison, or refer to:

Employee rights

You have a right to records that may be related to your exposure or medical status. This includes Hazards and Exposure Assessments, results of medical surveillance, and other exposure related information, such as Material Safety Data Sheets. If you want to know more about possible exposures in your work area, contact your Division Safety Coordinator or the affiliate Industrial Hygienist, assigned to your Division. You can find contact information from the “Who to Call” link on the EH&S website:


Exposure Assessment: an evaluation performed and documented by ES&H professionals to determine personnel exposure to hazardous chemicals, or physical agents, and to evaluate the adequacy of hazard controls.

Hazard Assessment is a preliminary evaluation (or screening) of an activity to determine if a more comprehensive Exposure Assessment is required. Hazard Assessments can be performed by Work Leads, Supervisors, workers or an EH&S professional. Hazard Assessments are one form of Baseline Exposure Assessment.

Industrial Hygiene: The art and science dedicated to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of occupational health hazards (including exposures to chemicals, noise, and non-ionizing radiation).