Information dissemination and use: critical components in occupational safety and health.
Schulte-PA; Okun-A; Stephenson-CM; Colligan-M; Ahlers-H; Gjessing-C; Loos-G; Niemeier-RW; Sweeney-MH
Am J Ind Med 2003 Nov; 44(5):515-531
Information dissemination is a mandated, but understudied, requirement of occupational and environmental health laws and voluntary initiatives. Research is needed on the factors that enhance and limit the development, transfer, and use of occupational safety and health information (OSH). Contemporary changes in the workforce, workplaces, and the nature of work will require new emphasis on the dissemination of information to foster prevention. Legislative and regulatory requirements and voluntary initiatives for dissemination of OSH information were identified and assessed. Literature on information dissemination was reviewed to identify important issues and useful approaches. More than 20 sections of laws and regulations were identified that mandated dissemination of occupational and environmental safety and health information. A four-stage approach for tracking dissemination and considering the flow of information was delineated. Special areas of dissemination were identified: the information needs of the changing workforce, new and young workers; small businesses; and workers with difficulty in understanding or reading English. We offer a framework for dissemination of OSH information and underscore the need to focus on the extent to which decision-makers and others receive and use such information. More solid data are also needed on current investments in disseminating, diffusing and applying OSH information and on the utility of that information.
Information-retrieval-systems; Information-systems; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Training; Regulations; Environmental-protection; Decision-making
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Education and Information Division, MS-C14, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998
American Journal of Industrial Medicine