Occupational health refers to the identification and control of the risks arising from physical, chemical, and other workplace hazards in order to establish and maintain a safe and healthy working environment. These hazards may include chemical agents and solvents, heavy metals such as lead and mercury, physical agents such as loud noise or vibration, and physical hazards such as electricity or dangerous machinery. Since 1986, the NIEHS has supported training and education programs designed to protect workers and their communities from exposure to toxic materials encountered during hazardous waste operations and chemical emergency response. This includes safety and health training for workers who are involved in hazardous waste removal and comprehensive training and environmental restoration for residents living near heavily polluted industrial waste sites.
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