ORAU Team Worker Outreach Program's Use of TopHat to Address Worker and Stakeholder Concerns

M. Fish and W. Murray (Oak Ridge Associated Universities)

The Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) has thousands of potential claimants requiring responses to their questions and concerns. It is difficult for team members to remember and sort out the numerous concerns voiced regarding Department of Energy and Atomic Weapons Employer sites. The Worker Outreach Program under the Dose Reconstruction Project for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) ensures that worker concerns are being recorded, considered, and addressed. To accomplish this, the Worker Outreach Program is using a concerns database called TopHat (Toxicological Profile and Health Assessment Toolkit) developed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Worker and other stakeholder concerns and issues are entered into TopHat and categorized so that search queries can be performed. The goals of the TopHat database are to have access to all concerns voiced during meetings since 2002, to be able to sort concerns using a query function or search strategy, to present and organize the concerns in an understandable fashion, and to develop educational materials to answer frequently raised concerns and questions. In order to meet the goals of the TopHat database, concerns from all the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health meetings, other public meetings, and from worker outreach meetings are entered into the TopHat database. Key words are identified and each concern is categorized so that the concern can be identified through search queries. Summary reports, in text, chart, or graph format can be created that track the number of concerns in each category by any specified criteria. Using the information in the database, flyers, pamphlets, and talking points can be developed that focus on the true concerns of the worker and the public. Response documents and detailed descriptions of responses or actions taken regarding a particular concern or group of concerns are tracked so that the ORAU team has documentation regarding the responses and actions taken for each concern. Work supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health under Contract No. 200-2002-00593.

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