top of page

Using OccIDEAS

OccIDEAS is a web-based application which is used to assess occupational exposure in epidemiological studies. It is the equivalent of a questionnaire plus the translation of that questionnaire into an assessment of exposure to specific chemicals (agents). You simply need to specify what agents you are interested in (or we can help you decide) and we provide you with your own customized application you can use to interview subjects. The end product is a spreadsheet with variables for the amount of agent exposure for each job for each subject.

The OccIDEAS process




































































































































































Step 6. Manual review. You may manually review the automatic assessments to ensure you are happy with the final assessment. This step can also be used to assign exposures to jobs which haven’t had a JSM allocated.

This section describes the processes involved in starting a new study, and managing that study from the beginning to the end. The steps are:


Step 1. Obtain job history.

Step 2. Upload job history.

Step 3. Allocate JSMs.

Step 4. Interview.

Step 5. Automatic assessment.

Step 6. Manual review.

Step 7. Download data.


You will need to have an application on your server which can manage virtual machines. Some possible options are Virtual Box or VMWare. Your own IT support should be able to assist you in installing and running this application. You will be sent an address from where you can then download your own customized instance of OccIDEAS. Your own IT support should be able to assist you in installing this instance.



Step 1. Obtain job history. Obtain a job history from your subject. The minimal information required is job title, main tasks done in the job, year (or age) started and finished that job.


Step 3. Allocate JSMs. Once participants have had their questionnaire data uploaded, their job history information in OccIDEAS needs to be reviewed and a JSM allocated so that the interviews can be done. This is done manually for each job history. We provide detailed descriptions of how to do it. In the example below we have allocated the Driver JSM to the first job, the Textile JSM to the second job, and the military JSM to the third job.

Step 4. Interview. Interviewers call the subject and ask the subject the relevant JSMs. OccIDEAS steps the interviewer through the process using skips so the interview is as short as it can be.

Step 5. Automatic assessment. Automatic assessment is done by OccIDEAS using the extensive set of rules in the JSMs. At the conclusion of each interview, the rules are run automatically and the results are displayed in various forms in the assessment module. These JSMs and rules were developed by the team of occupational hygienists who have contributed to OccIDEAS since it was created. We hope that your thoughts and experience with the JSMs during your study will contribute to improving the JSMs and rules even further.  

Step 7. Download data. There are three files you can download.


  • Job histories for all participants

  • Interview answers for all participants who had interviews

  • Assessments for all participants (see below)

Step 2. Upload job history. Enter the data into a standard excel spreadsheet provided by the OccIDEAS team. Import the data into OccIDEAS using an easy self-explanatory interface. 

bottom of page