NIOSH asks for feedback on development of free mobile chemical pocket guide

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is looking to develop a free mobile web-based version of its popular NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG), the U.S. federal agency announced in a blog post.

NIOSH is hoping users of the current 424-page version of the NPG will provide feedback to help shape a new mobile version.

The NPG provides descriptive, exposure, and protective and emergency recommendations for 677 chemicals commonly found in work environments. Workers, employers, and occupational health professionals commonly use the NPG in their work and often refer to it in emergency situations, according to NIOSH.

“We’d like to know about how you use the guide, what industry you work in, and what part mobile devices play in your work life. This will help us determine how to organize content and what functions will make the mobile NPG the best possible guide for people like you,” writes Donna Van Bogaert, NIOSH’s chief of information, resources, and dissemination branch, in a blog post on NIOSH’s website.

Van Bogaert is asking for users to provide feedback on her blog post by providing comments — agreeing, disagreeing, or introducing new important ideas related to the assumptions she and her team has been able to make based on previous research.

The following are the statements Van Bogaert originally listed on the NIOSH blog:
• A free mobile web version of the NPG would be a valuable tool for safety officers, industrial hygienists, emergency responders, and health professionals who treat workers.?• Most professionals using the mobile NPG will be using iPhone, iPad, and android technologies. ?• Hands-free technology would be an important feature of a mobile NPG.?• A small mobile device will not be able to show all the NPG fields at one time. The fields most important to show first are: name, CAS number, incompatibilities and reactivities, exposure symptoms, first aid.?• Not everyone will have the resources to access the NPG mobile version. Other ways NIOSH could make the NPG easier to use might include posting a downloadable excel database. Users could decide which pages and fields to print and eliminate information that wasn’t useful in their specific situation.

Feedback responses can be made on Van Bogaert’s blog post.

NIOSH conducts research and makes recommendations to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses. It operates within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.