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Technology Safety Data Sheets: Tools Perceived as Valuable by Workers, Technology Developers, and Regulators

[+] Author Affiliations
Bruce Lippy

National Clearinghouse for Workers Safety and Health Training, Washington, DC

Paper No. ICEM2003-4872, pp. 693-700; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/ICEM2003-4872
From:
  • ASME 2003 9th International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation
  • 9th ASME International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation: Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Oxford, England, September 21–25, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3732-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3731-9
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME

abstract

Several U.S. agencies, most notably the Department of Energy (DOE), have been developing a new information tool for workers to alert them to the hazards posed by operating and maintaining innovative remediation technologies for cleaning hazardous waste. Technology Safety Data Sheets (TSDSs), designed as corollaries to Material Safety Data Sheets, have never been evaluated prior to this research. Three populations were evaluated. DOE technology developers (n = 80) were sent one of four randomly selected TSDSs, along with a Likert-scale, pre-tested questionnaire in the mail. Sixty-two percent responded. Nearly three-quarters agreed that the TSDS format is valuable. Two-thirds agreed that TSDSs would prove valuable for training workers at a hazardous waste site, although there was no consistency in their perception of the long-term benefits of TSDSs. A focus group of state environmental regulators was held through the Southern States Energy Board. The regulators did not have access to safety and health professionals within their state organization, so they agreed that the document would be valuable. They saw TSDSs as facilitating the process of writing permits for new technologies as well as disseminating information to the community near hazard waste sites. The third population, heavy equipment operators who are trained to work with hazardous waste, were also sent one of the same four random TSDs and a questionnaire. From mailing of 935, 475 responded, a 50% return. The workers were more enthusiastic than developers about the value of these document (91% agreed TSDSs were valuable). Eighty-three percent agreed that the similarity to MSDSs increase the ease of use. Risk ratings were considered a valuable element by all three populations. The findings supported the DOE efforts to disseminate safety information through this tool. Examples of TSDSs are available at http://www.iuoeiettc.org .

Copyright © 2003 by ASME

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