NIOSH Releases Chemical Management Strategy to Protect Workers

Source: mediagram - 123RF

Occupational exposure limits (OELs) play a critical role in protecting workers and emergency response personnel from exposure to dangerous concentrations of hazardous materials.

NIOSH recently released a chemical management strategy that can quickly and accurately assign chemicals into categories, or “bands” in order to protect workers on the job.

Occupational exposure banding, also known as hazard banding or health hazard banding, is a systematic process that uses qualitative and quantitative hazard information on selected health-effect endpoints to identify potential exposure ranges or categories.

NIOSH’s occupational exposure banding process seeks to create a consistent and documented process with a decision logic to characterize chemical hazards so that timely, well-informed risk management decisions can be made for chemical substances that lack occupational exposure limits (OELs).

According to the Agency, the document provides the background, rationale, and instructions for the occupational exposure banding process and gives guidance for risk managers to identify control levels for chemicals without authoritative OELs.

The new Technical Report includes an E-tool as a supplementary online application to provides users with an automated means to brand chemical substances.