Control banding is an evolving strategy focused on creating, developing, organizing, and implementing control solutions to reduce work-related exposures with the aim of eliminating occupational disease, illness, and injuries among workers.
Control banding is a complementary approach to protecting worker health by utilizing finite resources to identify and implement exposure controls. Given the reality that appropriate occupational exposure limits cannot be established for every chemical in use, a chemical is assigned to a "band" for control measures, based on its hazard classification according to international criteria, the amount of chemical in use, and its volatility/dustiness. The outcome is a recommended control strategy.
A control strategy has potential for great utility for addressing workplace hazards and can be improved when combined with industrial hygiene expertise. Professional judgment and specific knowledge of industrial processes and workplace activities are required for implementation of the best "reasonably practicable" combination of controls to minimize risks to workers.
Developing a framework for defining the role of the industrial hygienist in control banding. Specific elements of the framework will include:
- potential workplace applications
- processes for implementing and evaluating control banding strategies
- development of workplace hazard guidance control solutions
limitations of control-focused approaches
- control banding resources for the industrial hygienist (expert systems) and non-technical audiences (e.g., small and medium enterprises)
The Control Banding Working Group also accepts the charge to establish linkages with other AIHA committees and outside stakeholders with overlapping interests to identify additional control banding applications as well as research gaps.