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The use of mental models in chemical risk protection: developing a generic workplace methodology

Cox, Patrick, Niewoehner, Jörg, Pidgeon, Nicholas Frank ORCID:, Gerrard, Simon, Fischhoff, Baruch and Riley, Donna 2003. The use of mental models in chemical risk protection: developing a generic workplace methodology. Risk Analysis 23 (2) , pp. 311-324. 10.1111/1539-6924.00311

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We adopted a comparative approach to evaluate and extend a generic methodology to analyze the different sets of beliefs held about chemical hazards in the workplace. Our study mapped existing knowledge structures about the risks associated with the use of perchloroethylene and rosin-based solder flux in differing workplaces. “Influence diagrams” were used to represent beliefs held by chemical experts; “user models” were developed from data elicited from open-ended interviews with the workplace users of the chemicals. The juxtaposition of expert and user understandings of chemical risks enabled us to identify knowledge gaps and misunderstandings and to reinforce appropriate sets of safety beliefs and behavior relevant to chemical risk communications. By designing safety information to be more relevant to the workplace context of users, we believe that employers and employees may gain improved knowledge about chemical hazards in the workplace, such that better chemical risk management, self-protection, and informed decision making develop over time.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental models; risk communication; chemical risks; drycleaning; soldering
Publisher: Society for Risk Analysis
ISSN: 0272-4332
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 09:30

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