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NIOSH Program Portfolio



NORA Construction Sector Strategic Goals

927002X - Data Acquisition and Management

Start Date: 10/1/2002
End Date: 9/30/2012

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Dennis Zaebst
Phone: 513-841-4459
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: DSHEFS
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goal Addressed

Attributed to Construction

Project Description

Short Summary

The primary goal of this project is to develop a central repository of exposure-related data for the Institute using a customized version of IH Manager ™ developed by Spiramid, LLC. The aggregated exposure data will be used to support surveillance, research, and intervention priority setting and project activities. This application will meet the needs of all NORA programs where management of exposure data is identified as one of the goals. Data variables will be defined by data collectors/users across the Institute, including a minimum set of variables to be collected during NIOSH field studies where industrial hygiene sampling is conducted, to ensure uniform data collection. This system is also expected to eventually incorporate exposure-related data provided to NIOSH by partners such as OSHA, AIHA, state workers’ compensation bureaus, insurance carriers, and unions.


The primary goal of this project is to develop a data management system which will serve as the Institute’s surveillance tool for exposure-related data. This surveillance system will be available to NIOSH researchers on the intranet to serve as a central repository for occupational exposure data.

To ensure the data will be suitable for exposure surveillance, a minimum set of exposure-related data variables will be defined and required for all NIOSH field studies where the data system will be used. These will include standardized industry and occupational codes, geographic location, process, task, engineering controls, and personal protective equipment. Exposure-related data will be input into the system as it is generated and selected legacy data will be coded and entered into the database. This occupational exposure data management system (or database) will serve the Institute and the occupational safety and health community as a surveillance, research, and priority setting tool.

Creation of a central repository of NIOSH exposure data from field activities including HHEs, industry-wide and control technology assessment studies, emergency response activities, and special research programs (i.e., nanotechnology) will provide data for tracking hazards and exposures measured by NIOSH. When completed, this system may eventually incorporate exposure-related data provided to NIOSH by partners such as OSHA, AIHA, state workers’ compensation bureaus, insurance carriers, and unions.

In FY07-08 the system configuration and user guide were developed. An “alpha” version of the software was tested by potential users, and change requests were returned to the contractor writing the software. In FY09 several phases of the project will be completed including: finishing a system user guide, testing of a “beta” version of the database system software, delivery of a production version of the software, final product testing and approval, planning for pilot data entry, collection and coding of the existing data for pilot data entry, completion of pilot data entry, reporting of pilot data, and complete recommendations for a second planned phase of the project.


A survey will be made of internal NIOSH users of the database system in the 4th quarter of FY 2009. Acceptance and use of the system will be assessed. Measures will include the quantity and quality of entered data, and the breadth and consistency of critical information such as determinants of exposure. The results will be used to assess whether additional modifications to the database will improve data entry and use of the system. Requirements for Phase II will be based on this assessment.

Page last updated:April 24, 2013
Page last reviewed:May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director


NIOSH Program:


construction worker, crane, architect