Desktop study of occupational exposure judgments: Do education and experience influence accuracy?

Perry W. Logan, Gurumurthy Ramachandran, John R. Mulhausen, Sudipto Banerjee, Paul Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examines the impact of several experience and education determinants on exposure judgment accuracy. The study used desktop assessments performed on several different tasks with different exposure profiles to identify correlations between determinants and judgment accuracy using logistic regression models. The exposure judgments were elicited from industrial hygienists with varying levels of experience, education, and training. Videos and written and oral information about the exposure tasks were presented to all participants as they documented a series of qualitative and quantitative exposure judgment probabilities in four exposure categories. Participants (n = 77) first documented their qualitative and then their quantitative exposure assessments after receiving the series of sampling data points. Data interpretation tests and training in simple rules-of-thumb for data interpretation were also given to each participant to investigate the impact of data interpretation skills on exposure judgment accuracy. Logistic regression analysis indicated years of exposure assessment experience (p 0.05), highest EHS degree (p 0.05), and a participant's data interpretation test score (p 0.05) directly impacted qualitative exposure judgment accuracy. Logistic regression models of quantitative judgment accuracy showed positive correlation with greater than 10 years of exposure assessment experience (p 0.05), highest EHS degree (p 0.05), a participant's data interpretation test score (p 0.001), rules-of-thumb data interpretation training (p 0.001), and the number of sample data points available for a judgment (p 0.005). Analyzing judgments in subsets for participants with less or more than 10 years' experience indicated additional correlations with Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Safety Professional certifications, total number of task exposure assessments, and career number of air surveys. The correlation of qualitative and quantitative exposure judgment accuracy with greater than 10 years experience supports similar research findings from other fields. The results of this study indicate that several determinants of experience, education, and training, in addition to the availability of sampling data, significantly impact the accuracy of exposure assessments. The findings also suggest methods for enhancing exposure judgment accuracy through statistical tools, mathematical exposure modeling, and specific training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-758
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • data interpretation
  • education
  • experience
  • exposure judgment accuracy
  • professional judgment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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