E-HAZTOOLS FOR HAZMAT/HAZWASTE WORKER TRAINING
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant) Research and development of an interactive, commercially viable software product entitled e-HazTools will focus on the practical chemistry of hazardous materials as an e-learning and e-teaching tool for training the nationwide population of workers engaged in activities broadly characterized as hazardous waste and chemical emergency response operations. Applied practical chemistry is a critical element of such training, yet instructors find it difficult to teach in the restricted timeframe required. E-learning and e-teaching tools have proven effective in teaching chemistry at all levels in academic settings. These approaches will be adapted and augmented for the target population in collaboration with subject matter and training experts through pilot tests with target workers and product revisions. The most significant innovation of this product is its hooks to public chemical databases that will drive the e-outcomes in questioning-method scenarios and problem-solving exercises designed to apply chemical concepts to the target workers' safety and health needs. A quasi-experimental outcome evaluation study will be conducted comparing the effectiveness of e-HazTools with existing classroom instruction for this topic. The evaluation will employ a partially randomized, longitudinal, cross-sectional survey design with three measurement points: pre-training, post-training, and 4-month follow-up. To assure effectiveness with the widest target population, both pilot test groups and evaluation study groups will be composed of occupationally, economically, and ethnically diverse categories of target workers. Commercial application of e-HazTools will be as stand-alone CD-based and Internet-based e-teaching/e-learning products. Effective training in hazardous materials chemistry will help meet the long-term goal of assuring that workers learn and master safer handling and response practices, reducing potential for hazardous exposures among workers and communities and helping to meet the broad NIEHS goal of reducing illness and disease due to hazardous environmental substances.
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FOF COMMUNICATIONS 1832 KENYON ST NW WASHINGTON, DC 20010
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