Since its first printing in 1978, the NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) continues to be the Institute’s most popular document. The NPG provides general descriptive, exposure, and protective and emergency recommendations for 677 chemicals commonly found in the work environment. Workers, employers, and occupational health professionals all use the NPG in the course of their work and often in emergency situations. Fire fighters, for example, use the NPG to prepare themselves for exposures they might encounter on fire scenes.
The current printed pocket guide is a 424 page, 3 inch by 7 inch, pocket-sized book. We know many people rely on the printed version, particularly in times of emergency when power may be out or signals down or overextended. The NPG will continue to be available for print. We also know that there is a growing demand for the NPG in a mobile version that could offer users more convenience and flexibility.
Right now, NIOSH is developing a free mobile web version of the Pocket Guide. We’d like to hear from those of you who use the NPG. 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. Based on our research, we’ve made some assumptions about how you might use a mobile application.
Please help us with the development of this tool by providing your comments — agreeing, disagreeing, or introducing new important ideas related to the assumptions made in the statements below.
- A free mobile web version of the NIOSH Pocket Guide (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# , 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.
We want to ensure that the mobile NPG offers as much functionality as possible. Please provide your input in the comment section below to help us make this new tool useful for you and others in your field.
Donna Van Bogaert Ph.D. and Glenn Doyle
Dr. Van Bogaert is the Chief of the Information, Resources, and Dissemination Branch at NIOSH
Mr. Doyle is the NIOSH Web Coordinator