Tables

Some tables in the uSSRA fail to clearly communicate critical information. Most notably, in Volume 1, Section 4 of the uSSRA (pp. 61–237), the base case (all controls in operation) was identified but can be confused with both the partial control failure and complete control failure pathways. The report would be more reader-friendly if the base case (no control failure) were differentiated and displayed more clearly. Many sections use incorrect or incomplete table headings. In one example, Table 7.4.1-1 of the uSSRA includes the heading “Economic Impacts Summary (Millions)” and subheadings “Producer Surplus” and “Consumer Surplus” (pp. 573–575). Those values could be interpreted as the level of producer and consumer surplus, whereas the text indicates that they are changes. The text and Table 7.3.1-9 of the uSSRA that follow immediately appear to provide conflicting information because of inaccurate table headings (p. 563).

Text

The uSSRA is often difficult to follow and verify because of inconsistencies within and between sections. The sections seem to have been composed independently, which is understandable, but the final assembly into one document failed to sufficiently merge the various parts. Referencing is not uniform throughout, and the writing style varies. The committee acknowledges the time constraints in assembling a document of this magnitude, but some lack of cross-referencing created critical holes. For example, the epidemiology section reports a detailed examination of vaccination and depopulation costs that are not incorporated into the economic analysis of the uSSRA (Section 7, pp. 541–576).

REFERENCES

Barry, M.A. 2005. Report of Pneumonic Tularemia in Three Boston University Researchers. Boston Public Health Commission (March 28, 2005). Available online at http://www.bphc.org/programs/cib/environmentalhealth/biologicalsafety/forms%20%20documents/tularemia_report_2005.pdf (accessed April 27, 2012).

Cox, L.A., Jr. 2009. Risk Analysis of Complex and Uncertain Systems, New York: Springer.

Eckstein, M. 2009. Fort Detrick researcher may be sick from lab bacteria. Frederick News-Post, December 5, 2009. Available online at http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=98629 (accessed April 25, 2012).

Enserink, M., and J. Kaiser. 2004. Accidental Anthrax Shipment Spurs Debate Over Safety. Science 304(5678):1726-1727.

Erickson, J. 2005. Power Failure Hits CDC Germ Lab. Rocky Mountain News. Oct. 13. Available online at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1502425/posts (accessed April 27, 2012).

Kletz, T.A. 2001. An Engineer’s View of Human Error. 3rd Ed. Rugby, UK: Institution of Chemical Engineers.



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