Safety App Of The Week

September 2, 2013 No Comments

Below is our “Safety App of the Week”.  These weekly features are published every Monday.  New apps are tested on Apple iPads and rated from to ♥♥♥♥♥ (♥♥♥♥♥ is the best).  Prior app of the week articles are archived here.


Official Description  

“WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) is a mobile application designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents.

First responders in general, and HAZMAT units in particular, must make many decisions quickly in handling hazardous-materials incidents. They need accurate information about the hazardous substances, the emergency resources available, and the surrounding environmental conditions to save lives and minimize the impact on the environment and physical property. The WISER application extracts content from TOXNET’s Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), an authoritative, peer-reviewed information resource maintained by the National Library of Medicine, and places that information into the hands of those who need it most.

Features of WISER:

  • Rapid access to the most important information about a hazardous substance by an intelligent synopsis engine and display called “Key Info”
  • Intuitive, simple, logical user interface developed by working with experienced first responders
  • Comprehensive decision support, including assistance in identification of an unknown substance and, once the substance is identified, guidance on immediate actions necessary to save lives and protect the environment
  • GIS support provides for isolation/protective distance overlays on a map of the incident
  • Access to NLM’s Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), which contains detailed peer-reviewed information on hazardous substances
  • User Profiles enable users to specify the role they are currently playing at the scene of an incident: first responder, HAZMAT specialist, EMS specialist, hospital provider, or preparedness planner. The key information presented to the user about a substance varies depending on this role, so that the information most relevant to the respective job can be quickly accessed.
  • Radiological and biological substance support.
  • ERG 2012 data; the iPhone version of WISER includes the full ERG 2012 tool.
  • Mobile support, providing first responders critical information where they need it, when they need it. “1

Thumbs Up

  • cost is free
  • no registration or sign in required
  • well organized – easy and logical to use without any instruction
  • colorful and visually appealing
  • it can help you identify an unknown chemical based upon the symptoms the exposed employee is suffering
  • lots of useful occ health and safety information on each chemical including: PPE, fire procedures, reactivity, chemical properties, storage, treatment, explosive potential,  IDLH, health effects, OSHA standard, NIOSH TLV, toxicity, carcinogenity, environmental, clean-up, and disposal

Thumbs Down

  • only has data on 438 chemicals, while the NIOSH Pocket Guide app has data on 677 chemicals – if chemical safety is important to you get both of these apps
  • there are dozens and dozens of pages of information on each chemical, almost too much data – the only way to find needed information in a hurry is to be very familiar with this app and its’ layout/organization/navigation beforehand

Overall Rating

  • iPad / iPhone –  ♥♥♥♥♥
  • Android  ♥♥♥♥♥

¹ Descriptions courtesy of Apple Inc.

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