Training

It is preferable that any implemented health surveillance program be administered by qualified occupational health specialists. The expertise of professional industrial hygienists, physicians, and technicians will likely be required. However, once a proper data collection system is in place, nonexpert staff can help to collect some of the data on a day-to-day basis. This is particularly true for much of the ambient monitoring data discussed in greater detail in Chapter 7. Workers can be trained to collect data “on the job” or through short-term courses. Training should include instruction in epidemiology, basic industrial hygiene, air sampling, and toxicology/health effects (Verma et al., 1996). Good communication and teaching skills will be required of employees helping to administer health and workplace surveillance programs. Distance education courses are offered by several research centers and universities so that personnel from small companies or more remote locations need not be prohibited from acquiring the necessary skills required to collect useful data for risk assessment purposes. Sources for training personnel are provided in the aforementioned Guide to Data Gathering Systems for the Risk Assessment of Metals (ICME, 1999).