The Army will be the national leader in eliminating health hazards from, and integrating human performance criteria into, the life-cycle management of materiel systems.
OVERVIEW OF THE HHA PROGRAM:
Health Hazard Assessment (HHA) is the process used within the Army to identify, assess, and eliminate or control health hazards associated with the life cycle management of materiel items such as weapon systems, munitions, equipment, clothing, training devices, and other materiel systems. The HHA program addresses the potential effects of materiel systems health hazards on the personnel who test, produce, use, maintain, repair, or support the systems. Through application of biomedical knowledge and principles, HHA directly supports Army officials engaged in developing, manufacturing, operating, maintaining, demilitarizing, and disposing of materiel systems. The HHA is systems engineering from a health or medical perspective.
The HHA process considers mission needs, concept analysis, research, development, testing, evaluation, production, procurement, training, use, storage, system maintenance, transportation, demilitarization and disposal throughout the entire life cycle. In civilian circles, the HHA program is closely related to aspects of occupational health, preventive medicine, environmental medicine, industrial hygiene/safety, and pollution prevention. The distinction, however, between the HHA program and its civilian counterparts is the program's emphasis on the Soldier-system interactions with military-unique operations and equipment.
Please visit the Health Hazard Assessment page in the Topics & Services section of this site to learn more.
HISTORY OF THE HHA PROGRAM:
The Army Surgeon General established the Health Hazard Assessment Program in 1981 in response to continuing concern about the effects that operating military weapon systems have on the health of their users. The initial program efforts focused on staffing (13 people), establishing relationships with key organizations, and building credibility.
In 1985, the Army established the Manpower and Personnel Integration Program (MANPRINT). It emphasizes the man-system integration that incorporates human considerations - including those relating to health hazards - in the design and development of materiel systems. The Health Hazard Assessment Program became an emphasis area, or domain, of MANPRINT. Although inclusion of the program as a domain in MANPRINT was a significant step forward, no additional resources were provided to meet the new requirements and increasing workload.
By 1994, the Health Hazard Assessment Program supported 17 Service schools, 26 Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) system managers, 207 program/project/product managers, and 12 Program Executive Officers. Core program duties included providing technical advice on a case-by-case basis to combat and materiel developers, attending meetings to support developers, and preparing health hazard assessment reports for 100's of systems in various stages of development. As of this current date, the numbers from 1994 have increased drastically in addition to the Health Hazard Assessment Program taking on various other duties. Today's Health Hazard Assessment Program continues to perform its historical duties, but also strives to be a force in the evaluation of all systems under development, early involvement in life-cycle management to influence system design, day-to-day interaction with combat and materiel developers, and the development of databases and predictive models to more accurately assess and track health hazards.
Historically, the assessment of health hazards has been looked upon as the sole responsibility of the Army Medical Department (AMEDD). The AMEDD personnel will lead the effort in identifying and recommending control of the health hazards associated with military systems, but everyone involved with system acquisition - logisticians, acquisition managers, and combat and materiel developers - is also responsible for controlling health hazards. Identification and control of these hazards must be a team effort. We risk producing sub-standard products if the team does not consider health hazards or other MANPRINT domains (e.g., manpower, personnel, training, human factors, system safety, and Soldier survivability). Health hazards that are not controlled will affect the one resource we cannot afford to risk.....the Soldier.