World Day for Safety and Health at Work - 2022

Steven Verpaele, the Nickel Institute’s Industrial Hygienist explains how a new workplace exposure collection tool and database system will help prevent occupational diseases and contribute to creating a health and safety culture at the workplace.

© International Labour Organisation -
© International Labour Organisation -

World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an awareness campaign that seeks to draw international attention to occupational health globally and how promoting and creating a culture of safety and health can help reduce the incidence of occupational disease.

 Last year, on the same occasion I mentioned the development of a nickel workplace exposure database to collect quality exposure data from all workplaces where exposure to nickel and its compounds is possible I’m now happy to announce that the database is now live and free-to-access. And it’s a resource not only for nickel but for all metals and metalloids!

The metals and metalloids workplace exposure database is the first resource of its kind 

The new Nickel Institute Exposure Sampling Database will make life easier for EHS professionals. Those tasked with reporting exposure data internally and externally, in a structured way, can use the database  for multiple reporting obligations, such as showing compliance with worker safety regulations and REACH dossiers updates.

For regulators and companies, the database will be a tool to help identify exposure trends and reductions over time, categorized by various industries, processes and jobs at which the exposures occur. This is data that can be analysed to help keep workers safe. It will also identify Best Available Techniques, which will be useful guides when investing in new technologies.

==> In summary, when the database is populated, it will contain a wealth of valuable worker exposure information for any company with people exposed to metals and metalloids. Regulators will also be able to use the robust data to help to identify realistic and cost-effective yet practical health-protective measures and occupational exposure limits worldwide.

The collection of quality exposure data is immensely important in the context of exposure prevention

How does it work?

The system consists of online and offline sections to gather all contextual and exposure information.  This approach is designed to reduce the burden for high quality data submission.  

  1. The online part allows a user to provide detailed information about their organization or company, sites, workplaces, control measures as well as sampling & analysis details combined with cost data. 
    This predefined obligatory information remains constant and is linked with the offline data collection.
  2. The offline part is where further input and information related to the specific time, place and context of where the exposure data is collected.

As soon as sufficient company data is in the system it can be used as a database for internal data comparison, statistical analysis and legally required reporting of worker exposure. The system integrates all industrial hygiene statistical tools which are applicable in all jurisdictions. It also provides an outcome of compliance testing with national Occupational Exposure Limit Values (OELVs).

All these features, which are related to a company’s own datasets, are available to each participating company/organization.   


And of course, confidential company information is protected!

  • All incoming data will be reviewed. The review process is blind ==> No reviewer will know where the samples came from, nor have access to this information.
  • The database is secure and protected. The data is stored in highly secure servers.
  • Only people related to a specific organisation will have access to that organisation’s data ==> it is impossible to see any company data without specific log in permissions.  

Are you an EHS professional and want to contribute to a safer workplace by collecting high quality exposure data at the workplace?

  1. Email Steven ( with a request for a profile and log in details.
  2. You will receive an email from with a personal link for registering. (Please check your SPAM folder, should you not receive this e-mail.)
  3. Specific training sessions can be arranged on request.
  4. More info in this short video:

This tool will be a game changer for your organisation!