Objective To explore the applicability of different assessment methods in the shoe-making industry, providing a scientific basis for the selection of occupational health risk assessment methods in the shoe-making industry in China.
Methods From 2019 to 2020, four shoe-making enterprises in Guangzhou were selected as the study objects. And six methods, including the US Environmental Protection Agency inhalation risk assessment method(US EPA method), the Multiple Exposure Scenarios method(MES method), the International Council on Mining and Metals Occupational Health Assessment Method(ICMM method), the Australian Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment Method(Australian method), the GBZ/T 298-2017 "Technical Guidelines for Occupational Health Risk Assessment of Chemical Hazardous Factors in the Workplace" Comprehensive Index Method(Comprehensive Index Method), and the Hazardous Operation Grading Method, were used to conduct occupational health risk assessment for the key positions in the shoe-making enterprises. The risk ratio was used to standardize the risk assessment results derived from these six methods, and the results of the six methods were compared.
Results The airborne concentrations of benzene, 1, 2-dichloroethane, trichloroethylene, and n-Hexane in the key positions of these four shoe-making enterprises were lower than the national occupational exposure limit. There were differences in results derived from six methods. The pairwise comparison showed that the risk levels assessed by the US EPA method, the Comprehensive Index Method, the MES method, the ICMM method, and the Australian method were statistically higher than those assessed with the Hazardous Operation Grading Method(P < 0.05). Among them, the risk level assessed by the US EPA method was the highest, followed by the Comprehensive Index Method; similar risk levels were derived by the MES method and the Australian method; and the ICMM method had a large difference from other assessment methods.
Conclusions It is recommended to use the Comprehensive Index Method as the main method, with both the MES method and the Australian method as the supplementary methods. A combination of multiple assessment methods is suggested to conduct occupational health risk assessment in the shoe-making industry.