Chemical Exposure Management and Assessment System

Help Pages

Survey Sample-Sets

The use of survey Sample-Sets is described in this help section. The information is divided into the following areas:

Defining Sample-Sets and their use in an Exposure Monitoring Survey

Hierarchy of Survey and Sample-Set Data

Sample-Set Types

General Sample-Set Info

Personal Info

Inhalation Samples

Dermal Samples - devices and sample media

Workplace & Process Information


Products information

Activity tracking

Creating Sample and results records

Defining Sample-Sets and their place in an Exposure Monitoring Survey

At the moment CEMAS is set up to handle Inhalation and Dermal exposure samples. We have tried to inlude as many relevant data items, or variables, as possible, without making them  mandatory at this stage. We have also included several other items that describe the context of the samples. The data items, and their categories include those recognised and documented as standard requirements for Workplace Exposure Data Recording as described by:

  1. The European Foundation For The Improvement Of living and Working Conditions, Working Group on Exposure Registers In Europe - see:
  2. Rajan R, Aylesburg R, Cason B, et al and the Working Group on Exposure Registers in Europe. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions: Occupational Databases. A proposal for core information for workplace exposure measurements on chemical agents. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1996.

  3. The joint ACGIH - AIHA Task Group on Occupational Exposure Databases - see:
  4. Lippmann M, Gomez MR, Rawle GM. Data elements for occupational exposure databases: guidelines and recommendations for airborne hazards and noise. Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1996; 11:1294-1311.

More detailed documentation on the place of CEMAS in the context of occupational exposure databases, and the requirements for core/non-core and optional mandatory exposure data items is being prepared as part of the CEMAS development project for CEFIC.

An Exposure Survey can have many Samples; and Samples may have one or more Results, depending on the number of analyses carried out on that sample.

An Exposure survey can record useful contextual data that helps to describe or explain the circumstances and conditions surrounding or pertaining to the scenario during sampling. For example, the workplace conditions, worker behaviour, the use of PPE, or other environmental factors that help to explain the levels of exposure found. Such contextual data is often not recorded, or not recorded sufficiently well to help describe, and potentially explain, exposure. One of the main aims of CEMAS. One of the aims of CEMAS is to provide facilities to more easily and regularly record useful contextual data in a structured way.

It is common that Exposure Monitoring Samples gathered contemporaneously, within the same sampling session, have shared characteristics and shared contextual data that help describe the circumstances of the exposure and factors of the ongoing monitoring.

In order to group together samples that have shared characteristics and shared contextual data that describes the circumstances of Exposure monitoring, and to minimise the re-entry of information for related samples, CEMAS uses the concept and term Sample-Set. It uses this to group together closely related samples.

A Sample-Set defines a group (or set) of one or more Samples, that share the same characteristics, and that are gathered within the same sampling session. In some Surveys it is possible that there may be just one Sample per Sample-Set.

The figure below aims to show the hierarchical relationship between Surveys, Sample-Sets, Samples and Results that is used in CEMAS to store exposure survey data.In this schematic Surveys have one or more sample-Sets; Sample-Sets have one or more Samples; Samples have one or more Analytical Results. Note that Analytical Methods that are specified at Survey level are linked to the analytical results when the results are entered.

All Samples in a Sample-Set will be of the same sample type (for example, Personal Inhalation or Short Term, or Static Inhalation, or Dermal, etc).

If the Sample-Set is of personal type - ie one or more Inhalation or Dermal samples attributable to an employee/worker then the Sample-Set will attach to just that one person.

The Sample-Set screen is shown below.

to top

A Sample-Set type must be chosen from the drop-down list: the choices are shown in the table below, with an indication of whether these are of Personal, Inhalation and Dermal types.

Sample-Set Type




Personal Inhalation short term




Personal Inhalation long term




Personal Inhalation other (>30 min and <6 hrs)




Personal Inhalation combined for TWA




Static Inhalation short term




Static Inhalation long term




Static Inhalation other (>30 min and <6 hrs)




Personal Dermal




Dermal Surface wipe




Depending upon the Sample-Set type selected, different tabs will be visible on the screen to allow data entry, as follows:

  • If a Personal type is chosen then the Personal Info tab will be available
  • If an Inhalation type is chosen, then the Inhalation Samples tab will be available
  • If a Dermal type is chosen, then the Dermal Samples tab will be available

A note on the Sample-Set can also then be added.

Data entry for the different tabbed areas of the form are outlined below

Whilst many data items are revealed by the screens, much of this is optional, additional contextual information, and not required to calculate exposure. This is indicated in the sections below. 

In the current CEMAS prototype we have revealed most data  items so that users can see the potential breadth of accessory and contextual data considered useful. In future versions of CEMAS these can optionally be shown, or hidden, through selections and choices to be made by the user. This will allow the layering of the screens to more selective, depending upon the needs of the user.

In this way CEMAS will allow the use of simple, or advanced data collection screens, depending upon the needs of the user. For example, simple screens withn fewer data items could be used for a simple exposure monitoring survey, whereas mroer detailed screens could be used for an epidemiological study.

We would encourage more detailed data coverage wherever possible: the more optional or contextual data that is collected, the more intelligence the dataset can provide about the exposure situations surveyed and sampled.

to top

General Info: (required info items)

This first tab is used to record general sampling period and duration details:

A Sampling Start Date is required. It should be entered in DD/MM/YYYY format, or by using the pop-up calendar by double-clicking in the date field.

To calculate a sample duration, Start Time and End Time should be entered, or, if preferred, a Known Exposure Duration can be entered. If a Known Exposure Duration is entered this will over-ride any calculated duration. The Exposure Duration is used later to calculate the Sample Volume of the inhalation samples in the Sample-Set.

If any breaks were taken during sampling their duration in minutes should be recorded. If sampling continued during the break this should be checked. When checked the calculated duration will include the break duration, otherwise break duration will not be included in the calculated duration.

Notes and observations on the Sample-Set, and its related Samples, can be recorded in the text box

to top

Personal Info  (required items for personal-type Sample-Sets)

Where the Sample-Set is of personal type the Personal Info tab will be visible, as shown below.

Employee personal information can be entered directly into this form for each Personal Sample-Set recorded. Alternatively, if data for this person has already been entered at the Company/Premises level, data can be copied from the Company employee records, and pasted into the sample set record. These can be accessed by clicking the Pick & copy data from employee records >> button. This will open up the general company Employee list, from where Employee data can then be pasted into the Sample-Set form. A copy of the data is made so that the Sample-Set record contains the details of the employee as they were at the time of the Survey, rather than linking them to personnel records that could be altered and updated at a later date, for other purposes.

to top

Inhalation Samples (Required items for Inhalation-type Sample-Sets)

Where the Sample-Set is of Inhalation type the Inhalation Samles info tab will be visible, as shown below.

Sampling device, Sampling media and Sampler location, should be selected from the drop-down choices available.

The Mean sampling rate (litres per minute) for the inhalation sampling device should be recorded. This will use the duration to calculate a total sample volume. This is used later in calculating the overall concentration of a Sample.

The General exposure pattern, Exposure conditions, and General personal workrate can be specified using the drop-down list choices available.

to top

Dermal Samples - devices and sample media (these are required items for Dermal type Sample-Sets)

Where the Sample-Set is of Dermal type the Dermal Samles information tab will be visible, as shown below.

A record should be created for each Dermal sampling device and Dermal media type combination used. At least one must be created, and this will be referenced when Dermal sample results are later added.

The Dermal Details tab allows the specification of the Device used, via the drop-down list as shown above. The dermal Media type is selected in similar fashion. The area of the sample (in square centimetres) needs to be specified also as this will again be used later to calculate the sample concentration.

to top

Workplace & Process Information (Optional data items)

The Workplace & Process information tab will always be available, regardless of the Sample-Set Type selected. This allows for the recording of the principal Workplace and Process ongoing whilst sampling was ongoing.

These items can be selected by the drop-down boxes from existing Premises data that may have been recorded earlier, at the Premises level. Where the relevant Workplace or Process have not been recorded, new entries can be added by clicking on the Add new >> button. This will open up the premises level forms to add Premises or Workplace data, as described here for Workplaces and here for Processes.

to top

PPE Use Information - (optional data items)

The PPE use information tab will always be visible, regardless of the Sample-Set Type selected. This allows for recording details of general Personal Protective Equipment that was in use in the surveyed environment, irrespective of which sampling strategies and types were being used.

The PPE type(s) in use should be recorded by selecting from the drop-down list. The check box can be ticked if the use of the PPE was thought to be effective, and left blank otherwise. Notes and observations on PPE use can also be made here.

to top

Activity Tracking Information (optional data items)

In CEMAS It is possible to maintain more detailed contextual records of the settings or activities going on during a sampling session or sampling period. This may not necessarily be used for many standard exposure monitoring surveys,  but it can be used for some more detailed studies, for example in a particular epidemiological study.

It is possible to attach detailed records of the conditions prevailing within workplaces passed through and activities undertaken there. This can be done in two ways as detailed below.

The first is through the use of simple Diary records, that can be attached to one or more Sample-Sets in a Survey. Clicking the Edit & link event record button will open Event records that can then be linked to the currently open Sample-Set Record, as shown below:

Survey event records can be navigated, edited and added in standard fashion. An event record is linked to a Sample-Set record by Clicking on the << button. This will close the Diary screen and return you to the Sample-Set record. The same diary record can be linked to as many Sample-Set records as necessary, as required.

A further way to record detailed information on activity tracking is an advanced feature, still currently under development in CEMAS. It is not complete, but is available in the current version for inspection. A screen shot is shown below.

Using the Premises information recorded in the database, this allows detailed records to be made of the workplaces sampled, the processes  undertaken in those workplaces, and the tasks undertaken as components of the process.

Views on this, or other suggestions. for recording detailed exposure studies are welcome.

to top

Products information (optional data items)

This allows information to be recorded about the products in use during sample collection for the  current Sample-Set. The method is the same as that used to record Products for E-Risk Assessments.

The product name is entered to create a new record. The product category, its State, and its Role can be selected from the drop-down lists available.

Creating Sample and results records

Having created or edited a Sample-Set Record, it is now possible to create one or more samples, and their associated results by clicking the button Samples & Analytical Results For This Sample Set. Further details on adding samples and results is available here.

to top

[Home] [Starting] [Company] [Premises] [e-Risk Advisor] [Exposure Surveys] [Sample-Sets] [Samples & Results] [Reports & Output]