Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2017

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Symposium: Continuous Quality Improvement: An Alternative to Standards Setting?

Room: Salon D   10:30 am–12:00 pm

Chair(s): Tee Guidotti

Sponsored by Economics and Benefits Analysis and Risk Policy and Law Specialty Groups

Setting fixed standards often lags behind scientific knowledge and may result in pressure to revise standards later, leading to conflict, contentious debate on the evidence, and either foregone benefits of more effective regulation or transactional costs in moving to a new regulatory regime. Would health protection be better served by a strategy of “continuous quality improvement”? Occupational health protection regulation provides a framework for thinking about this policy option. Formal occupational health and safety regulation takes the form of standard setting, in which the scientific evidence is reviewed and evaluated to derive a presumably protective exposure standard or practice guidelines. The tacit assumption is made that this standard is permanent and fixed because it reflects best evidence for all time. In actuality, such standards often become obsolete or invalidated with the development of further scientific evidence, new measurement methods for health outcomes, or new technology for either exposure measurement or hazard control. Regulatory agencies sometimes have mechanism for periodic review, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Review Plan for ambient air quality standards, but OSHA does not, despite their role in enforcing a set of standards increasing viewed as long out of date. Management of occupational health at the corporate level, on the other hand, often emphasizes continuous quality improvement as described by the familiar Deming cycle of “Plan, Do Check, Act” (PDCA), which in some form is the template for quality assurance in most other management functions of the organization. Questions to be addressed include whether CQI as a strategy would incur excessive opportunity costs when regulation is effective, what spin-off or corollary benefits accrue when continuous improvement for occupational health is integrated with process CQI and the drive for technological efficiency, and the benefits of “mainstreaming” occupational health into management systems such as ISO 9000 that assume CQI.

M2-D.1  10:30 am  Continuous Quality Improvement (PDCA) in risk management: the Deming cycle in achieving risk reduction beyond fixed standards. Guidotti TL*; Occupational + Environmental Health & Medicine

Abstract: Current approaches to regulatory risk management based on standard-setting assume that the standard represents a permanent best practice and a level of risk that is appropriate for the level of protection required by the community at risk. However, new information, improved scientific methodology, and the identification of novel risks often require review and modification of standards for significant hazards. As well, social attitudes change and society generally becomes more risk-averse over time and with increasing awareness and affluence. An alternative approach that recognizes these realities is “continuous quality improvement” (CQI), which is an on-going process for the optimization of risk, efficiency of operations, and consumption of resources. The the “Deming Cycle” (Plan Do Study Act [repeat]), for example, is the standard management approach for quality assurance in the private sector. CQI has theoretical and practical advantages over fixed standard setting in improving the quality of the environment and worker health and fits better with good management practices. The theoretical disadvantages may be business concern over an ever shifting target for compliance and the opportunity cost of making improvements when performance is already sufficient. However, in practice, CQI has shown such great benefit in improving the operations of enterprises from small business to large corporations that it is standard procedure and typically results in large unanticipated gains beyond quality, in efficient operations, lower cost, and reduced risk. The mandated periodic review of ambient air quality standards by the EPA and of high-priority chemicals under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act are broadly compatible with CQI. The approach is also one means of effectively operationalizing the Precautionary Principle. It is suggested that CQI should be considered as an alternative regulatory approach and adopted as a fundamental approach to risk management.

M2-D.2  10:50 am  Manufacturing Novelty for a Purpose: the Neuroscience Basis for Continual Review and Improvement. O'Reilly MV*; ARLS Consultants and State University of New York

Abstract: Neuroscience has illuminated the role of the limbic system and sub-cortical pathways in risk perception and decision making. The limbic system is closely aligned with emotion. Many decisions are made at the emotional level before cortical rationalizations are formulated. The system of emotional thought is often called a mental model. Mental models often determine choice before cortical thought kicks in. The Deming cycle of continuous improvement implemented in several management system standards, such as ISO 9000, 14000 and the proposed ISO 45000 as well as the ANSI Z10, incorporates systems thinking. Daniel Kim of MIT describes five levels of systems thinking one of which is mental models. Mental models provide one of the links between systems thinking and human cognition. The benefits of mainstreaming occupational health into management systems depends on the mental models of employers, employees, consumers and rule makers. The mental models employed by small business and large corporations are quite different. One mental model really does not fit all situations. In addition, mental models vary based on what is valued and what is continuously improved. Emphasis on production, quality and/or safety results in different outcomes. When capital is valued more than workers the outcome of continuous production improvement typically does not improve worker health and/or well-being. When return on investment from capital is greater than return on investment from productivity, those with capital get richer and workers typically do not flourish. Continuous improvement works best when all involved share similar mental models.

M2-D.3  11:10 am  Manifesting Quality Management and CQI in Environmental, Health and Safety: ISO’s Approach. Redinger CF*; The Institute for Advanced Risk Management

Abstract: Quality management (QM) has a rich and important history. It has made significant impacts in improving organizational performance. Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is an approach to QM that has evolved from traditional quality assurance methods. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) jumped into this arena in 1987 with a quality assurance standard called ISO 9001; this standard reflects traditional QM and CQI principles. In the 1990s there was a proliferation of ISO-based standards related to environmental, and occupational health and safety (OHS) management. This presentation will provide a brief historical background, and then focus on: how ISO processes currently (2017) manifest and are executed in organizations, related to environmental and OHS management; and, how ISO frameworks integrate with regulatory requirements. Topics addressed include: the effectiveness of ISO/CQI approaches; temporality and double-loop learning, ISO/CQI’s impact on mental models and culture; and, ISO’s approach as a robust risk management platform.

M2-D.4  11:30 am  Practical considerations for recycling mercury-impacted scrap metal. Finster M*, MacDonell M, Chang YS; Argonne National Laboratory

Abstract: The recycling of mercury-impacted scrap metal can emit measurable amounts of mercury; however, existing characterization data are insufficient to fully understand the origin, key sources, and concentrations of mercury within scrap metal and the recycling process. Currently, industry-specific mercury emissions guidance values exist for many known anthropogenic mercury sources (e.g., coal-fired utility plants and waste incinerators), but are largely nonexistent for scrap metal processing and recycling facilities. Given the lack of significant guidance for recycling mercury-impacted scrap metal, these other values can provide a useful framework to potentially guide the development of mercury acceptance and release criteria/limits for recycling facilities. Of particular importance to occupational health and safety professionals, additional information on the origin, source, nature, and extent of mercury-impacted metal in scrap is important for assessing measures to protect scrap metal recycling workers from potential health and safety hazards that might be posed by the processing and melting of mercury-impacted metal.

M2-D.5  11:50 am  Discussion

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