If a survey is to be effective, its findings must get into the hands of the right people. It is difficult to measure the impact of any particular data source in terms of policy impact or impact on public understanding. However, patterns of dissemination may be illustrative. In the case of SRUP survey data, except for BLS and NIOSH press releases, most dissemination has been to NIOSH or the industrial hygiene community through articles in occupational health and safety journals and poster sessions at conferences. Where a potentially dangerous condition was identified (e.g., the lack of controls where air hoses connect to the compressed breathing source), a widely disseminated OSHA bulletin was issued. Also, MSHA used the information in preparing the economic analysis of the proposed APR regulation.
Were these uses sufficient to justify the expense of the survey? Only the survey sponsor can determine the ultimate cost-benefit of a survey. However, several areas in which marginally increased expenditures could have produced additional information have been pointed out in this chapter.