Every day more and more Apps are created for iPhones and/or Android smart phones. Among them are Apps that can be helpful to safety & health professionals concerned with occupational health exposures.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) has created a number of programs that can be used on a smart phone. The NIOSH Pocket Guide on Chemical Hazards is one of the most useful and handy references on chemical safety. It contains both OSHA and NIOSH standards and other important information on over 600 chemicals and can now be accessed with the NIOSH Mobile Pocket Guide. OSHA-NIOSH also has an App for a modified heat index meter that displays three risk level categories. There are several Apps that can be used to conduct ergonomic analysis and include the NIOSH lifting equation.
Safety data sheets (SDS) provide important information to the safety professional when assessing employee exposure to chemicals. Individual safety data sheets often can be accessed on the Internet using your phone. In addition, there are a number of Apps that allow one to upload a company’s SDSs. They also contain a library of existing safety data sheets that can be downloaded onto a smart phone.
There are now many useful detection devices that can directly or indirectly connect to a smart phone. Although many of the Apps and devices are very accurate and tiny, they should not be used to replace a calibrated instrument. They are most useful as a screening tool.
There are number of Apps that use your smart phone as a light meter. They are created for photography but can be used for facility light surveys. For more precise measurements, there are inexpensive light meters available that attach directly to the phone and come with a free App.
NIOSH, among others, have free sound level meter Apps that use the smart phone speaker. Some include an octave band analyzer. Microphones are available that can be attached to the smart device and can be Class 2 calibrated. Testo has a 405i hot wire anemometer with a telescoping probe that can be used take airflow and temperature measurements. It is blue tooth connected to a phone and can display and record the measurements. Infrared cameras can be purchased that connect directly to a smart phone and there are moisture meters that require a blue tooth connection. Both can be useful when conducting mold studies.
There are many types of portable or stationary instruments that can be calibrated and provide precise exposure information. However, the Apps described are just some of the ones that can be useful to safety & health professionals. There are sure to be newer and better ones in the future. It is important that safety & health professionals stay abreast of these new introductions and use them to supplement more expensive and comprehensive computer programs.
OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.
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