NIOSHTIC-2 No. 20021061

Toward a Typology of Dynamic and Hazardous Work Environments

December 2001

Publication first page
Document cover page
Click the image to enlarge

The most hazardous work environments share one feature in common: constant change. Many different, but constantly changing hazards are found in agriculture, construction, mining, and transport. This dynamic feature of workplace hazards varies by: (1) degree of control, (2) predictability, (3) visibility, (4) movement, and (5) degree of speed and force. In some cases the actions of the dynamic hazards are required for production to take place, and in many cases, several different hazards may overlap and interact. Finally, whether intentional or unintentional, some dynamic hazards are human generated. These are some of the features that distinguish dynamic and hazardous work environments across a variety of industries. The authors propose a preliminary typology of dynamic and hazardous work environments, along with a schema to systematically observe the dynamic characteristics of these hazards. The implications of this typology are considered with respect to worker training, hazard awareness, and safe work practices. For example, the implementation of the Hierarchy of Control is shown to require active worker involvement at every level in the hierarchy, except where an environmental hazard has been completely eliminated.

Author(s):Scharf-T, Vaught-C, Kidd-P, Steiner-LJ, Kowalski-KM, Wiehagen-WJ, Rethi-LL, Cole-HP
Reference:Hum Ecol Risk Assess 2001 Dec 7(7):1827-1841

   tatod (PDF, 265 KB)

A link above requires the Adobe Acrobat® Reader.
You can download a reader for free from Adobe through our Accessibility/Tools page.
Get Adobe Reader
Page last updated: September 17, 2008
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mining Division