OVERVIEW OF THE HEALTH HAZARD ASSESSMENT PROGRAM:
Health Hazard Assessment (HHA) is the process used within the Army to
identify and assess health hazards associated with materiel system life cycle
management and provide recommendations to capability developers, materiel
developers, and training developers to eliminate or control the health hazards
inherent in weapon platforms, munitions, equipment, clothing, training devices,
and other materiel systems. Through application of biomedical knowledge and
principles, the HHA Program addresses the potential effects of health hazards
on the Soldiers who use and maintain materiel systems. The HHA Program
uses systems engineering principles from a health or medical perspective. The HHA process outputs risk levels, comprised of the health hazard's probability and severity, to provide decision makers with prioritization tools in their overall risk management strategy.
The Army Medicine mission – to conserve the fighting strength – includes reducing the risks to Soldier's health posed by their own materiel. When properly integrated into the Army's acquisition process, the HHA Program not only prevents injuries and job-related illness, but also enhances the Soldier's ability to accomplish the mission. In civilian circles, the HHA Program is closely related to aspects of occupational health, safety, preventive medicine, and industrial hygiene. 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 HEALTH HAZARD ASSESSMENT PROGRAM:
The Army Surgeon General established the HHA 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, establishing relationships with key organizations, and building credibility.
In 1985, the Army established the Manpower and Personnel Integration Program (MANPRINT), now called Human Systems Integration (HSI). MANPRINT emphasized the human-system integration that incorporates human considerations, including those relating to health hazards, in the design and development of materiel systems. The HHA Program became an emphasis area, or domain, of MANPRINT.
By 1994, the HHA Program supported multiple Program Executive Offices, Service schools, Training and Doctrine Command system managers, and program/product managers. 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 HHA reports for hundreds of systems in various stages of development.
Today's HHA Program continues to perform its historical duties while consistently working to expand its capabilities and supported organizations. The primary objectives of the current HHA Program include the following:
- Preserving and protecting the health of individual Soldiers
- Reducing degradation of Soldier performance and enhancing system effectiveness
- Removing health hazards from systems by design to eliminate the need for health hazard-based retrofits
- Reducing the number of readiness deficiencies attributable to health hazards, thus reducing training or operational restrictions
- Reducing personnel compensation claims by eliminating or reducing injury or illness caused by health hazards associated with the use and maintenance of Army systems
- Reducing or eliminating occupational health hazards attributable to Army systems
- Estimating costs avoided as a result of implementing HHA Program recommendations
Army Regulation 40-10 establishes the HHA Program and its duties.