New NIOSH Report: Process for Chemical Exposure Branding

New NIOSH Report: Process for Chemical Exposure Banding

NIOSH has released a chemical management strategy that can quickly protect workers on the job.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (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, according to a press release from the agency. 

A vast number of chemical substances do not have occupational exposure limits (OELs) for the workplace potentially exposing workers to substances at levels that could be harmful. In an effort to educate and prevent harm, a new Technical Report, The NIOSH Occupational Exposure Banding Process for Chemical Management, was published. It provides a process with easy procedures and clear rules for assignment and can be used in a broad spectrum of workplace settings. 

“NIOSH has devoted significant efforts to develop, assess, and validate the occupational exposure banding strategy with the overall goal of reducing safety and health risks for workers,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. in a press release. “In the absence of formalized OELs, the exposure banding approach serves to identify workplace hazards and helps employers implement control strategies that keep workers safe on the job.”

The occupational exposure branding process is not meant to replace OELs, but rather is a voluntary approach which provides a starting point to inform risk management decisions for controlling chemical substances that do not have 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. 

For more information on occupational exposure branding, please visit cdc.gov

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