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A 2-day Occupational Health and Safety Forum
The Forum's Title: New Strategies for Recognizing and Preventing Occupational Disease
March 3 & 4, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Forum Survey's - Add Your Voice

Poster Session 3
A Retrospective Exposure Assessment Method For Occupational Disease Compensation In The Rubber Industry
Presented by:Derrick Chung
Lou Riklik
Dr. Abbas Virji
Ontario 's Workplace Safety & Insurance Act requires that adjudication of compensation claims consider the merits and justice of each individual claim. To satisfy this for occupational disease, the medical diagnosis and an exposure assessment are needed. This requires the Occupational Hygienist to reconstruct conditions and likely exposures for work processes that were in operation decades ago. These assessments can encounter many obstacles such as lack of access to the worker, major changes to the work environment, lack of historical process information and credible sampling data and complex work histories.
Air sampling and other traditional assessment techniques are best suited for current exposure conditions. Modeling techniques used by epidemiologists to characterise exposure/ disease relationships for large populations have some relevance for an individual when considering job/ task related exposures. Retrospective exposure assessments for compensation purposes often employ a qualitative approach that incorporates production processes, job duties and employment history of the individual.
This poster illustrates the practical application of a method for conducting a qualitative retrospective exposure assessment. As a consequence, data were collected from all available sources including interviews with co- workers, company records, government inspection reports and scientific literature. Where possible, quantitative data was used to develop department/ job specific summary statistics. All of the information was entered into a process template categorised by manufacturing process steps. This information was used to reconstruct the historical exposure profile for each worker. The profile defined specific agents of interest and the duration and risk of exposure. The risk of exposure was estimated using a qualitative model that considered the amount of time exposed and the likelihood of contact. This qualitative model was then validated using available air sampling data.
(This poster was previously presented at CARWH 2003, Montreal)
Mr. Derrick Chung
Occupational Hygienist
200 Front St West
Toronto, ON M5V 3J1
Lou Riklik
Occupational Hygienist
WSIB Ontario
200 Front St West
Toronto, ON M5V 3J1
Dr. Abbas Virji
Associate Professor
Dept of Work Environment
University of Massachusetts
Lowell, MA 01854

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