Control Banding; Health-Based Risk Assessment and Risk Management Strategies

Zalk, David; Nelson, Deborah
(University of California, International Occupational Hygiene Association)

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Control banding (CB) is a burgeoning approach within the U.S. for practical qualitative and semi-quantitative risk assessment strategies to identify and reduce occupational exposures. The strategies and construct that are considered within the CB purview currently have a primary focus on bulk chemical uses and their processes. CB should be seen as a complementary approach to protecting worker health that can play an important role in stretching limited resources while maintaining traditional ES&H professional practice. Perhaps the most significant force for CB development was the increasing recognition that the more traditional process (i.e., establishing occupational exposure limits (OELs) against which measurements of airborne concentrations of contaminants could be compared) was losing ground due to the increasing number of chemicals posing a threat to worker health. The utility of the CB approach has been recognized and cultivated by international organizations. It is being considered both a utility for documenting various exposure potential scenarios non-quantitatively within large enterprises as well as a practical approach for application in small and medium sized enterprises. The role of CB strategies has begun to grow beyond its chemical risk assessment roots and now is being considered for its place within occupational health and safety management systems. Toward this end, CB is now being expanded for chemical exposure applications and is moving toward encompassing ergonomics, safety, and other occupational risk-related topics to become an integral part of risk management strategies. This presentation will include the latest information on the topic and recent activities and will include findings within the NIOSH Expert Document entitled Control Banding; a Literature Review and Critical Analysis that is co-authored by the presenters. This expert document and its recommendations were the focus of a National Control Banding Workshop (NCBW) held in Washington DC in March 2005. Activities are currently being conducted to explore application of CB in the U.S. and internationally for the development and dissemination of the required research strategies for validation and implementation of CB. It is hoped that this presentation will assist the audience in the development of their own opinion on its validity, national applicability and its potential role within the semiconductor industry. • Work performed, in part, under the auspices of U. S. Department of Energy by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract W-7405-Eng-48

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