NIOSH has made available a draft document about Control Banding on its Web site for public review and comment. The document, entitledQualitative Risk Characterization and Management of Occupational Hazards (Control Banding [CB]): A Literature Review and Critical Analysis, describes the evolution and concepts of control banding, a qualitative approach for assessing and managing hazards associated primarily with chemical exposures in the workplace.
According to a NIOSH release, the comprehensive literature
review is intended to inform employers, workers, safety and health
practitioners, and other audiences about the concepts of control banding and to
stimulate further dialogue about its potential usefulness in the United States
by providing the appropriate background information and resources.
The conceptual basis for control banding, as NIOSH
defines it, is a framework for the grouping of chemical exposures according to
similar physical and chemical characteristics, intended processes/handling, and
anticipated exposure scenarios (amount of chemical used and how workers would
be exposed). In this context, control banding is not meant to reduce the need
for OELs, but to serve as a supplemental risk management tool.