PDC 421

The Hierarchy of Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs)



intermediate | Credits: 8 CM Credit Hours / 0.8 CEU / 0.5 CMP
Sunday, May 22 | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Limit: 60


Exposure Banding/OEL Process, Legal, Regulatory, Guidelines, and Standards, Risk Assessment and Management, Toxicology


The sheer number of chemicals in commerce makes the development of a traditional occupational exposure limit (OEL) for every chemical an overwhelming goal. The fundamental core of the occupational risk assessment process is the comparison of an estimate of exposure potential with a chemical’s toxic potency often called a hazard quotient. This course will highlight the array of different sources and types of chemical exposure guidance (OELs), their uses and limitations, and the linkage between them. The tools can be viewed as a hierarchy where some types of OELs can be developed with less data or resource investment, while others require more data but also provide greater certainty in the result and more robust information for making risk management decisions. A key skill for the IH is to know the difference between these methods and the basis for selecting each alternative for their risk assessment scenario. Skill development in these areas will be addressed in this course.


Participants should have a basic understanding of toxicology.

Learning Aids

Participants must bring a scientific calculator.

Value Added

Course provides users guides and hands-on training.


Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  • Identify key on-line resources for finding and selecting an OEL.
  • Describe the range of OEL derivation methods and their relationship to each other as tools that vary in data requirements and level of uncertainty.
  • Derive an OEL from a data set using alternative methods.
  • Demonstrate application of a systematic approach to selecting an OEL method consistent with the needs or different occupational risk assessment scenarios.


  • Introduction to key on-line OEL resources
  • The range of OEL derivation methods and their relationship to each other as tools that vary in data requirements and level of uncertainty
  • Introduction to the suite of OELs tools and alternate methods
  • Breakout session to develop OELs
  • Discuss and report on scenario results

Transfer of Knowledge

Instructors will evaluate participants understanding of the materials presented based on:

  • Practice exercises
  • Group activities

Course Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/16PDC421

Sponsoring Committee

Risk Assessment, Toxicology