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Field testing of a system using GPS and near-real-time monitors for exposure assessment with the U.S. Coast Guard.
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2004 May; :87-88
Workers in many outdoor occupations move about frequently during a typical day of work. Certain workers, such as those on U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) security patrols, 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. In this study, the LPS was field-tested during USCG security patrols along the Houston Ship Channel. By linking the LPS to a direct reading 5-gas monitor, position information was fixed with contaminant levels for each patrol. The field test was conducted over a six-day period in August 2003 and at different times of the day. Statistical information, maps showing peak concentrations, frequency, and time-weighted averages along the route of the patrol were created using software developed by NIOSH for the LPS. Results showed sulfur dioxide ranged from none detected to 0.2 ppm, hydrogen sulfide from none detected to 1.3 ppm, and volatile organic compounds from none detected to 5.5 ppm. The information obtained from the LPS allows safety professionals to better understand exposure information and focus controls where they may be more aptly applied. 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.
Monitoring-systems; Monitors; Occupational-exposure; Work-environment; Exposure-levels; Organic-compounds; Workplace-monitoring; Military-personnel
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division