When I was a young junior occupational hygienist working in industry (a long, long time ago!) one of my bosses’ favourite sayings that an occupational hygienist is only as good as his information sources, and, consequently, he always emphasied the importance of having a good library of books and other documents. Of course, in those days, before the advent of the Internet, we had to rely on text books and printed copies of documents published by HSE, NIOSH, ACGIH. It was important that they were kept up to date which entailed purchasing new copies of documents we already had when a new edition came out.
The Internet has changed this to a large extent. Many information sources are now online. This has the benefit of easy acess and ensures that you have the most up to date information – printed documents (particularly toxicological information) can be out of date the moment its published!
The HSE have been quite slow in putting information on-line. The HSE website has improved over the years but the information available has been restricted. Many of their key publications had to be purchased via HSEbooks. They were clearly seen as a source of income. However, this has changes as fairly recently the hSE has made many of their key publications available on-line as pdf documents. They can be read on-line or downloaded from here.
Particularly useful documents now available free of charge include
- HSG173: Monitoring strategies for hazardous substances
- HSG258: Controlling airborne contaminants at work: A guide to local exhaust ventilation (LEV)
- HSG53 : Respiratory protective equipment at work: A practical guide
- The COSHH ACoP
- HSG 170 : Vibration solutions: Practical ways to reduce the risk of hand-arm vibration injury
- L108 : Controlling Noise at Work