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Initial field testing of a system using GPS and near-real-time monitors for exposure assessment.

Hornsby-Myers J; Lee L; Flemmer M; Soderholm S; Gali R
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2003 May; :69
Workers in many outdoor occupations move about frequently during a typical day of work. Certain workers, such as agricultural and construction workers, are particularly mobile. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) designed and developed a prototype exposure monitoring system which combines geographical location with up to four real-time sensors and outputs the information to a user-friendly interface. By linking worker location throughout the workday to exposure levels from real-time monitors, Local Positioning System (LPS) units with software processing of data identify and document where to focus exposure analysis and control efforts. Post-processing of LPS data enables researchers, regulatory inspectors, and industry safety and health personnel to map exposure intensity and location, reveal hot spots to identify sources, and provide exposure intensity distributions. Focused exposure control efforts, in turn, should allow a high return on investment, facilitating acceptance and implementation, with subsequent reductions in occupational injury and disease. This project used a prototype version of a LPS that was recently designed and developed. Modular software that enhances the utility of the system as a valuable tool to researchers for improved identification, documentation, analysis, and control of exposures was developed to download the data collected from the prototype LPS. The software allows the researcher to determine the time-weighted average or peak exposure along with location and frequency of an exposure level. Field tests have been conducted at NIOSH's Lake Lynn Laboratory and on construction sites using the prototype LPS with a real-time dust monitor, noise meter, temperature probe, and a personal gas monitor. The results of the fields tests indicate the prototype LPS, sensors, and software are valuable tools for determining exposures in outdoor work environments.
Workers; Outdoors; Work-environment; Agricultural-workers; Construction-workers; Monitoring-systems; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Occupational-diseases
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: December 18, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division