Development, use, and availability of a job exposure matrix based on national occupational hazard survey data

Am J Ind Med. 1991;20(2):163-74. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700200204.


A job exposure matrix has been developed based on potential exposure data collected during the 1972-1974 National Occupational Hazard Survey (NOHS). The survey sample was representative of all U.S. non-agricultural businesses covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and employing eight or more employees. Potential worker exposure to all chemical, physical, or biological agents was recorded during the field survey if certain minimum guidelines for exposure were met. The job exposure matrix (JEM) itself is a computerized database that assists the user in determining potential chemical or physical exposures in occupational settings. We describe the structure and possible uses of the job exposure matrix. In one example, potential occupational exposures to elemental lead were grouped by industry and occupation. In a second example, the matrix was used to determine exposure classifications in a hypothetical case-control study. Present availability as well as future enhancements of the job exposure matrix are described.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Humans
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S.
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / classification
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Occupational Health / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States / epidemiology