NIOSH Updating Chem Hazards Pocket Guide


The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2018. It provides descriptive information such as recommendations for exposure limits, protective clothing, and first aid measures for 677 chemicals commonly found in the work environment.

Workers, employers, and occupational health professionals use the NPG to control workplace exposures to chemical hazards and as a reference in emergencies. Firefighters, for example, use the NPG to prepare themselves for chemical exposures they might face during responses to emergency scenarios such as an explosion, fire, or chemical spill.

To celebrate the NPG’s 40 years, NIOSH is reprinting the hard copy and updating all versions (web and app), adding new information such as skin exposure information and additional chemicals. The current printed NPG is a 424-page, 5.25-inch by 7.5-inch, pocket-sized book.

Two new layouts and two new sizes have been developed for the print version, and NIOSH is requesting feedback about these new designs from those who use the NPG.

Based on research, the Institute has made some assumptions about what features might be important to NPG users:

  1. The current size (3 x 7-inch) and layout of the NPG is important to keep.
  2. An 8 × 10-inch version of the book would be just as useful as the current version.
  3. The text size and placement of information in the current version is a good fit.
  4. Adding more color is helpful in following the information.
  5. Keeping the placement of information in a consistent format is important.
  6. The addition of new information (skin notations, additional chemicals) makes the guide more valuable.
  7. The printed version of the NPG is not my primary resource, but it is important for some uses.

Comments may be posted on the NIOSH website.

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