Measurement of workers' exposure to various noxious influences is particularly difficult when data must be recorded over longer periods (e.g. months). Constant surveillance of the technology, data transfer, management of the technology, and the downstream databases entail a considerable overhead when they are all needed at the site of measurement. In times of under-staffing, it is virtually impossible to complete large-scale measurement studies realistically and comparably. The following requirements were formulated for a measurement system for use in studies of exposure of persons working outdoors to solar ultraviolet radiation: measurement each working day extending over several months (from April to October), a measurement cycle of one measurement per second (with several measurement parameters per measurement), 300 sites of measurement across Germany, sufficient robustness for use during outdoor tasks, saving of the data and management of the dosimeter at weekly intervals, minimum involvement required of the test subjects, and automated transfer of the data to the IFA.
The aim of the project was to establish a new measurement system developed by the IFA with the above properties. The first application of the measurement system is measurement of task-related exposure to UV radiation.
The project is linked closely to DGUV research project FF-FB 181 concerning skin cancer caused by ultraviolet radiation (Part 2).
The measurement system is to comprise a number of modules that were developed in discrete steps: requirements for the dosimeter; PC system for use by the test subjects for data saving/dosimeter management/data forwarding; software for data saving and dosimeter management; software for data forwarding; web server and administration software for data and terminal units (in this case, the dosimeter); database at the IFA.
300 test subjects were each equipped with an electronic dosimeter/data logger and PC, and instructed in their use. Each working week, 300 data records were to be transferred to the web server, from where they were forwarded in batches by test subject identification number to a database at the IFA.
The GENESIS measurement system is designed to perform two essential tasks:
1. Decentralized long-term measurements at a test subject's work location
2. Collection of data from all over the world at a single collecting point.
The back-end of GENESIS encompasses the entire technology apart from the measuring instrument itself. The test subject uses a tablet that comprises the local IT environment for downloading data from a measuring instrument. Once the data have been transferred from the measuring instrument to the tablet, an automatic process is launched for transfer of the data to a web server. When the data have been received by the web server, they are forwarded to a data server at the IFA. At the same time, the data are also archived on the tablet, where they serve as a backup. The data are therefore archived even should a mobile phone or Internet connection not be available at the test subject's location. When a connection is obtained again, the data are transferred to the web server.
The GENESIS client software makes data transfer straightforward. Once the process has been launched, the data are automatically downloaded from the measuring instrument and uploaded to the web server. Depending upon the measuring instrument and the speed of the mobile telephone/Internet connection, these processes may take from less than a minute to several minutes. The client software completes other tasks besides data transfer. Two-way communication between the test subject and the project managers is possible by means of a messenger function, which enables information to be exchanged in the form of e-mails. Should it be required, online maintenance work can be performed in a team viewer connection, which runs outside the GENESIS client.
Since 2016, the client has also featured an embedded daily log application. This application serves to document the tasks performed during working hours in accordance with the task profiles defined beforehand in conjunction with the responsible accident insurance institution. An up-to-date version of the documented tasks is piggy-backed on each package of measured data transferred to the web server and then forwarded to the IFA.
The final part of the system is the addition of an application (front end). The first application is for measurement of the UV radiation exposure of workers during work outdoors. An electronic data logger/dosimeter is used as the front end in this case. The dosimeter records the following physical parameters:
The measurement cycle time can be selected; for GENESIS-UV, the cycle time is measurement of all parameters once per second. An internal clock in the dosimeter enables the data to be synchronized; the battery status and any error codes are also stored. A switch enables a bit to be set that can be interpreted as "work" or "break". In both cases however, measurement is continued uninterrupted.
With GENESIS, the IFA is making a measurement system available with which large-scale, decentralized measurement programmes can be performed. Its use has been demonstrated since 2014 by the GENESIS-UV campaign.
-cross sectoral-Type of hazard:
working environment (load, hazards, exposure, risks), prevention, radiationDescription, key words:
GENESIS-UV, measurement system, electronic dosimeter, UV radiation, exposure register