International Hazard Datasheets on Occupations (HDO)

The International Hazard Datasheets on Occupations is a multipurpose information resource containing information on the hazards, risks and notions of prevention related to a specific occupation. The datasheets are intended for those professionally concerned with health and safety at work.

The datasheets list in a standard format different hazards to which a worker, in the normal course of normal work, may be exposed to. It provides several measures for the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. These datasheets are a source of information (rather than advice) for occupational physicians and nurses, safety engineers, hygienists, education and information specialists, inspectors, employers' representatives, workers' representatives, safety officers and other competent persons.

A typical Datasheet comprises four pages:
Page 1: Information on the most relevant hazards related to the occupation;
Page 2: A more detailed and systematized presentation on the different hazards related to the job with indicators for preventive measures (marked shield and explained on the third page);
Page 3: Suggestions for preventive measures for selected hazards;
Page 4: Specialized information, relevant primarily to occupational safety and health professionals and including information such as a brief job description, a list of tasks, notes and references.

Each datasheet is, to a certain degree, similar to a Chemical Safety Data Sheet (also known as a Material Safety Data Sheet). The Chemical Safety Data Sheet is a standardized document that serves to alert both the worker and the occupational safety and health professional about the relevant hazards at the workplace as well as means of prevention on a specific chemical substance. However, unlike the Chemical Safety Data Sheets, the International Hazard Datasheets on Occupations is designed to cover the range of hazards to which the worker may be exposed to while performing the tasks typically associated with the occupation being addressed.

The currently available datasheets have been developed in a project undertaken by the ILO and the Israel Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene (IIOSH), in cooperation with the European Union and ILO-CIS Centres throughout the world.