Let's Take A Peek at PEAC-WMD v.5 - by S. Bruce
Using the PEAC-WMD Glossary
One of the features added in the PEAC-WMDv5 application
and later releases of the software is the inclusion of a Glossary of terms used by
individuals working with or responding to HAZMAT or WMD incidents.
Most of us recognize that dealing with hazardous
materials is an occupation that comes with its own vocabulary or at least requires
the responder to be familiar with terminology that is specific to these materials. The
vocabulary relating to chemical properties, their behavior or associated acronyms
are not typical terms most of the public would understand. The
truth is that even individuals with a number of years in the field may run into terms
or vernacular that are unfamiliar or just plain mystifying. During
the almost 10 years that the AristaTek owners have been marketing the PEAC system
and doing presentations, training or workshops around the country, we came to the
conclusion that some basic understanding of terminology was required prior to or during
any exchange describing the PEAC tool.
The Glossary was incorporated into the application
with the release of the 5.0 version of the software in late 2004. Since
then the Glossary content has been increased to deal with additional terms used in
the industry. We suspect it will continue
to grow as we run across terms not currently in the Glossary database or as users
suggest new terms that should be added.
One of the other database elements added in version
5.0 release was the US EPA Chemical Reactivity Worksheet. A
portion of this database was an extensive set of descriptions of specific chemicals
and their documented reactions as found in literature references. This
additional text and some of the terms included in the text, was an additional motivation
to incorporate the Glossary feature in the software.
The Glossary can be utilized in two ways. First,
the user has direct access to the Glossary terms by accessing the Glossary from the Lookup
By selection field as shown in Figure 1 for the Windows version and Figure 2 for
the Pocket PC version. When the user
clicks or taps on the Lookup By field, a list of selections is displayed.
Clicking (Windows version) or tapping (Pocket PC
version) on the Glossary selection will display the respective screens as shown in
Figure 3 (Windows version) and Figure 4 (Pocket PC version).
The user can find and display the definition of a
term in the right side of the screen for the Windows version or the lower portion
of the screen in the Pocket PC version by one of two methods. First,
they can scroll through the list of terms, which are listed in alphabetical order,
or they can enter the term in the Lookup field and the PEAC-WMD application
will find the term and display the definition.
Glossary terms in the list cover acronyms (e.g.,
IDLH, STEL, PAD, UEL) and terminology routinely encountered in the day-to-day encounters
with HAZMAT and WMD (e.g., molecular weight, hydrophobic, fuming, isotope, vapor pressure).
second way the Glossary feature can be used in the PEAC-WMD application is referred
to as the interactive method. Since
the Glossary was included because of the increase in text fields now accessible in
the PEAC-WMD tool, the user can toggle ON/OFF the interactive Glossary feature, as
they desire. To toggle the Glossary feature ON/OFF, the user clicks (Windows
version) or taps (Pocket PC version) the interactive Glossary icon  on
the main screen for the appropriate version. The interactive Glossary icon is
located on the row of icons at the top of the main screen as shown in Figure 5 and
at the bottom of the main screen as shown in Figure 6.
the interactive Glossary feature is turned OFF, all text in the Data Display
Field (for those not sure what the Data Display Field is, this is the right side of
the main screen in the Windows version or the lower portion of the main screen in
the Pocket PC version) appears in normal font whether it is a Glossary term or not. If
the interactive Glossary feature is turned ON, then any place in the Data Display
Field that a Glossary term is displayed it will appear in a different font as a hyperlink. Examples
are shown for the both the Windows version (Figure 7) and the Pocket PC version (Figure
For the user to view the definition of the Glossary
term in question the user simply clicks or taps on the specific hyperlink and a window
will appear with the definition displayed (see Figure 9 for the Windows version and
Figure 10 for the Pocket PC version). When finished reading the definition,
the user simply clicks or taps on the [OK] on the definition window and the
window will be removed.
If users find specific terms they would like to see
included into the PEAC-WMD Glossary, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and
we'll try to include those terms into the next release of the PEAC-WMD application.
Any suggestions, comments or feedback on the PEAC-WMD application or the content
of the newsletter can also be sent to the same email address.