I installed clocksprings and replaced deployed airbags for a city fleet bodyshop from 1st gen bags in 1990 until 8 yrs ago when I retired. I saw some crazy stuff, but never a shrapnel issue. I can put an airbag in a steering wheel in 10 minutes or less. That's not counting disconnecting the battery and donning a static discharge harness. ( neither one of which I ever bothered with ) It is not an invasive op.
Passenger side bags present a whole different litany of potential issues including damaged mounting tabs, broken dash facia, broken rear view mirrors, vent assemblies coming loose, etc.
We even fired them off in the patrol cars after all the equipment was installed, to see if anything was in the bag path, while filming with a super high speed camera.