Occupational Safety and Health begins with the hygiene monitoring. Its important as it measures
the actual hazard capacity to inflict harm to a worker in a said work unit. As we have different
types of hazard, there are many types of hygiene monitoring. The important ones are as below:
1. Noise Risk Assessment (NRA)
Noise Risk Assessment replaces the Noise Mapping as the Noise Regulations 2019 came into
force June 2019. The result is compared to the standard Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)
that is set by law. In NRA, there are 2 components which are
i. Noise Mapping - the work units will be assessed for their noise levels (Exposure monitoring)
ii. Personal monitoring using a dosimeter will be carried out.
In this, the workers will be given a dosimeter and the dosimeter records the amount of noise the workers are subjected
to during their shifts.
This will be a prelude for an audiometry assessment for workers working in work units
exposed to noise higher than the Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs).
2. Chemical Health Risk Assessment (CHRA)
CHRA comes into force following the Use and Standard of Exposure of Chemicals Hazardous to Health (USECCH)
Regulations 2000. Under this regulation, the employer is mandated to perform a CHRA every 5 years once or earlier if there
is a change in a work unit operation. CHRA evaluates different chemicals that are listed under Schedule I and II of the
regulations. There is an exhaustive list of chemicals under Schedule I but these chemicals will only be evaluated if the
risk assessment is seen to be high. Schedule II lists 36 chemicals that are mandated to be evaluated every 5 years if the
chemical register list any one of them. Once CHRA is completed, it becomes the basis for a medical surveillance to be held
to assess the biological effect monitoring or biological exposure index for the workers.
3. Ergonomics Risk Assessment (ERA)
This is a new guideline that is being stressed by Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH). This guideline emphasizes
the importance of good ergonomic practice in preventing multiple musculoskeletal disorders. There are 2 parts to it, which are
i. Initial ERA
ii. Advanced ERA
ERA is seen to essential to a practice as currently we are seeing more and more musculoskeletal diseases among Malaysian
workforce that is burdening the healthcare sector and the Social Security Scheme. Prevention is needed to reduce this burden
and reduce companies’ medical expenditure as most of these are preventable conditions.
ERA can be instituted for the manual handling workers as well as officer workers as both have significant medical issues that
ensues. Therefore, ERA becomes an essential monitoring practice for all industries.