Development of an exposure database and surveillance system for use by practicing OSH professionals

Van, Dyke Michael V., LaMontagne, Anthony D., Martyny, John W. and Ruttenber, A. James 2001, Development of an exposure database and surveillance system for use by practicing OSH professionals, Applied occupational and environmental hygiene, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 135-143, doi: 10.1080/104732201460226.

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Title Development of an exposure database and surveillance system for use by practicing OSH professionals
Author(s) Van, Dyke Michael V.
LaMontagne, Anthony D.ORCID iD for LaMontagne, Anthony D.
Martyny, John W.
Ruttenber, A. James
Journal name Applied occupational and environmental hygiene
Volume number 16
Issue number 2
Start page 135
End page 143
Total pages 8
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2001
ISSN 1521-0898
Keyword(s) database
exposure surveillance
industrial hygiene database
exposure monitoring
Summary This report summarizes the development of an occupational exposure database and surveillance system for use by health and safety professionals at Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS), a former nuclear weapons production facility. The site itself is currently in the cleanup stage with work expected to continue into 2006. The system was developed with the intent of helping health and safety personnel not only to manage and analyze exposure monitoring data, but also to identify exposure determinants during the highly variable cleanup work. Utilizing a series of focused meetings with health and safety personnel from two of the major contractors at RFETS, core data elements were established. These data elements were selected based on their utility for analysis and identification of exposure determinants. A task-based coding scheme was employed to better define the highly variable work. The coding scheme consisted of a two-tiered hierarchical list with a total of 34 possible combinations of work type and task. The data elements were incorporated into a Microsoft Access database with built-in data entry features to both promote consistency and limit entry choices to enable stratified analyses. In designing the system, emphasis was placed on the ability of end users to perform complex analyses and multiparameter queries to identify trends in their exposure data. A very flexible and user-friendly report generator was built into the system. This report generator allowed users to perform multiparameter queries using an intuitive system with very little training. In addition, a number of automated graphical analyses were built into the system, including ex posure levels by any combination of building, date, employee, job classification, type of contaminant, work type or task, exposure levels over time, exposure levels relative to the permissible exposure limit (PELS), and distributions of exposure levels. Both of these interfaces, allow the user to ''drill down'' or gradually narrow query criteria to identify specific exposure determinants. A number of other industrial hygiene processes were automated by the use of this database. Exposure calculations were coded into the system to allow automatic calculation of time-weighted averages and sample volumes. In addition, a table containing all the PELs and other relevant occupational exposure limits was built into the system to allow automatic comparisons with the current standards. Finally, the process of generating reports for employee notification was automated. The implementation of this system demonstrates that an integrated database system can save time for a practicing hygienist as well as provide useful and more importantly, timely information to guide primary prevention efforts.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/104732201460226
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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