Bayesian Decision Analysis

Bayesian Decision Analysis I and II

Location – (Web PDC)

Instructions regarding how to log onto the web PDC and the conference call phone number, as well as handouts, will emailed to the registered participants the week before the PDC.


Dr. Paul Hewett Ph.D. CIH

Course Description

This webinar PDC introduces the participant to Bayesian Decision Analysis (BDA). BDA refers to the application of Bayesian statistical methods to IH “decision making”: i.e., the classification of exposures into AIHA exposure control categories, UK or ILO Control Banding categories, or pharmaceutical exposure control bands.

BDA I  covers the basic methodology and calculations, assumptions, cautions and issues, and the use of the IHDataAnalyst-Student version to analyze and interpret data using BDA.

BDA II focuses on various applications of BDA.  For example, BDA can be applied to noise data, datasets containing non-detects (i.e., censored dataset), and can assist in the selection an appropriate respirator Assigned Protection Factor.

Course agendas and prerequisites are listed below.  Each PDC will last 3.0 hours, with an additional 30 minutes for Q&A.  Each participant will receive a certificate confirming participation in the PDC.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding of Bayesian Decision Analysis (BDA) methodology.
  • Ability to use the IHDataAnalyst-Student software to calculate the Prior, Likelihood, and Posterior decision charts
  • Ability to quantify “professional judgment” using a Prior Decision Chart.
  • Understanding of how the BDA decision charts can be used in IH decision making.
  • Understanding of how BDA can be integrated into the AIHA or similar exposure assessment and management model.


  • Participation in the webinar PDC “IH Statistics and Decision Making” or a strong background in IH statistics.
  • Familiarity with the AIHA Exposure Assessment and Management Model (see the AIHA monograph “A Strategy for Assessing and Managing Occupational Exposures”, 4rd Edition (2015)
  • Working knowledge of the IHDataAnalyst (Professional or Student version).
  • Recommended reading prior to the WebPDC:
    • Hewett, P., Logan, P., Mulhuasen, J., Ramachandran, G., and Banerjee, S.: Rating Exposure Control Using Bayesian Decision Analysis. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 3:568-581 (2006).
    • Chapter 22 in the AIHA monograph “A Strategy for Assessing and Managing Occupational Exposures”, 4rd Edition (2015).

Presentation List – BDA I

  • AIHA Exposure Control Model
  • Introduction to Bayesian Calculations
  • Bayesian Decision Analysis
  • Exposure Rating Rule of Thumb
  • Workshop I
  • Informative Priors and Parameter Space
  • Workshop II
  • Criticism of BDA and Responses
  • Q&A
  • Stump the Instructor – Analysis of Student Datasets

Presentation List – BDA II – Applications

  • Censored Data
  • PPE Selection
  • Noise Data
  • Integrating BDA into a Corporate Exposure Assessment Program
  • BDA Priors: Inconsistent Priors and Custom Priors
  • Customizing Parameter Space
  • Weird Datasets: Bimodal and High GSD
  • EU Control Banding and Pharmaceutical Hazard Classes
  • Other Bayesian Approaches: Conjugate Priors (Are they worth the effort?)


See Registration page.

Cancellation Policy

See Registration page.

Read these notes before you sign up:

NOTE: The registration and participation policy for each Web PDC is the same as for a fixed location or on-site PDC. Each participant must register. Registration is per participant, not per viewing site. Only those registered should view and participant in this web PDC.

NOTE: The email address submitted at the time of payment will be used for all email communications and for logging onto the web PDC.

NOTE: This web PDC will presented using GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting must be installed on your computer. To install (usually takes less than two minutes), click on the GoToMeeting link above, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the link “Download GoToMeeting (for customers)”. If you do not have administrative privileges for your computer have your IT person install the GoToMeeting software well in advance of the web PDC.

NOTE: The conference call number will not be toll free. You will be responsible for any long distance phone charges if you do not have an unlimited long distance account. However, you may also connect using your computer speakers and microphone or headset (VoIP).

NOTE: See the “Prerequisites” below for software and freeware that will be helpful when taking this web PDC. To download and install the program(s) you must first be a registered member of