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Developing Effective Health and Safety Training Materials for Workers in Beryllium-Using Industries

Mayer, A. S. MD, MSPH; Brazile, W. J. PhD; Erb, S. A. MS; Barker, E. A. BS; Miller, C. M. MS; Mroz, M. M. MSPH; Maier, L. A. MD, MSPH; Van Dyke, M. V. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 7 - p 746–751
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182972f1b
Original Articles

Objective: Despite reduced workplace exposures, beryllium sensitization and chronic beryllium disease still occur. Effective health and safety training is needed.

Methods: Through an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Targeted Topic Training grant and company partners, we developed a training program. Evaluation and validation included knowledge and training reaction assessments and training impact survey.

Results: We describe herein the iterative, five-pronged approach: (1) needs assessment; (2) materials development; (3) pilot-testing, evaluation, and material revisions; (4) worker training; and (5) evaluation and validation. Mean posttraining test score increased 14% (82% to 96%; P < 0.005) and were unchanged at 90-day follow-up (94%; P = 0.744). In addition, 49% reported making changes in work practices.

Conclusions: The use of a five-pronged training program was effective and well received and resulted in improved work practices. These materials are available on the OSHA Web site.

From National Jewish Health (Drs Mayer, Maier, and Van Dyke and Ms Erb, Ms Barker, Ms Miller, Ms Mroz), Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Denver; University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine (Dr Maier), Denver; Colorado School of Public Health (Drs Mayer, Maier, and Van Dyke), University of Colorado Denver; and Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences (Dr Brazile), Colorado State University, Denver.

Address correspondence to: A. S. Mayer, MD, MSPH 1400 Jackson St, Denver, CO 80206 (

Funding: DOL: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Susan Harwood Training Grant, #SH 22304-11-60-F8.

Conflict of interest: Both Drs Van Dyke and Maier provide consulting for beryllium industries, including education of workforces as employees of NJH. Drs Mayer and Maier provide clinical care of patients with beryllium sensitization (BeS) and chronic beryllium disease (CBD) in the clinic at NJH. NJH performs beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test (BeLPT) testing for industries and Dr. Maier interprets these tests as an employee of NJH.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine