The Use Of Control Banding Technique Health Essay

Published: 2021-07-13 20:20:07
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BSC (Hons) Occupational Safety, Health and Environment
Center: School of Business and Computer Science
COURSE: Chemical Hazards.
RESEARCH TOPIC: Discussion on the use of Control Banding Techniques, such as COSHH Essentials in assessing and controlling the risk from exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace
ID # 8463
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, an attempt to safeguard workers in the pharmaceutical industry, responsible for interacting with products for which there was insufficient toxicological data, resulted in the categorization of toxicological data and the association of these categories with control strategies (Zalk & Imel Nelson, 2008).
This approach was termed control banding and allowed for a practical way of dealing with exposure when there was insufficient exposure and hazard data for chemicals (Tischer, et al., 2009). Additionally, the method introduced consistency across various risk assessors for the assessment of risks in the workplace and resulted in a simplified procedure for the assessment of risk (Money, 2003).
Various models exist which employ the concept of control banding in workplace risk management (Jones & Mark, 2006). These control banding techniques are inclusive of COSHH Essentials, Stoffenmanager and Einfaches Massnahmenkonzept (EMKG). These techniques are applied in various industries to assist with chemical hazard control in workplaces (Oldershaw, 2003).
This research seeks to discuss control banding techniques and their use in the assessment and control risks from exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace.
Control Banding employs qualitative risk assessment in workplace hazard management (NIOSH, 2009); which takes into consideration the chemicals health hazard and the exposure potential (HSE, 2009). The hazard is then linked to a suite of control measures (NIOSH, 2009).
Since the concept of hazard and risk are synonymous with the control banding approach these terms are briefly explored below.
2.1 Chemical Hazard
A hazard is the potential of an activity, process or substance to cause harm (Hughes & Ferrett, 2007). In control banding the prevalent hazards concerned are chemical hazards, which have the potential of resulting in ill health and discomfort for workers. These hazards include gases, mists, vapours and solids in the form of dust or fumes (Polg & Quinlan, 2002) and are usually determined by a simple measure of Toxicity (NIOSH, 2009).
2.2 Risk
Risk is the possibility that a hazard can cause harm (Cherie, et al., 2010). A risk assessment is a method which can be used in the identification of chemical hazards and determination of measures for controlling such hazards. It involves conducting an analysis of the workplace, identifying hazards and identifying control measures that will eliminate the hazards identified (Goetsch, 2005).
2.3 Control Banding Concepts
The logic of Control banding is based on exposure and hazard bands (Tischer, et al., 2009). The conceptual basis for Control Banding involves the stratification of chemical exposures based on common physical and chemical characteristics, the expected processes/handling, and foreseen scenarios for exposure such as amount of chemical used and how workers would be exposed. This results in the determination of control strategies. (NIOSH, 2009)
The equation below relays the concept of control banding:
Exposure potential + Health Hazard Qualitative risk assessment Control strategy (NIOSH, 2009)
2.3.1 Exposure potential
Exposure influences the risk associated with handling a particular chemical substance (Polg & Quinlan, 2002) and its assessment helps to determine the risk potential of chemicals on human health (Jayjock, et al., 2007).
Exposure potential- allocates substances to a dustiness or volatility band and a band for the scale of use (Brooke, 1998). It is based on the volatility of liquids, dustiness of solids, quantity of use and the relative hazard described in the R-phase (NIOSH, 2009).
2.3.2 Health hazard
For the hazard assessment, the model groups R-phrases into hazard bands and allocates them directly to target airborne concentration ranges (Tischer, et al., 2009).
These R- phases are numerical codes that are standardized and linked to information regarding health risks and toxic effects defined by the European Union. The Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), Chip R-phases offer an internationally recognised accepted means by which to indicate the nature of the toxicological hazard (Brooke, 1998). R-phases can also be sourced from: The National Chemical Emergency Center Lite Database, managed by HSE UK; the Hazardous substance database managed by the National Institute of Health and material safety data sheets (Jones & Mark, 2006).
2.3.3 Qualitative Risk Assessment
Once the health hazard and the exposure potential are determined the process of combining these factors in the determination of a desired control method is termed the qualitative risk assessment. (Brooke, 1998) .
2.3.4 Control Approach
The scheme provides a practical route for selecting an appropriate Control Approach:
general ventilation;■■
engineering control – local exhaust ventilation, eg dust or vapour extraction;■■
11 For some common operations (eg mixing, filling, weighing), the scheme indicates appropriate control guidance sheets that contain basic descriptions of control equipment and good practice.
The output of the risk assessment is a ‘‘Control Guidance Sheet’’ that lists the ‘‘dos’’ and ‘‘don’ts’’ forcontrol in a specific scenario (Garrod, et al., 2007)
Control measures comprise of a mixture of equipment and ways of working to reduce exposure.
Control Approach – type of approach needed to achieve adequate control (Brooke, 1998)
The generic risk assessment system in COSHH essentials (Maidment, 1998) matches the exposure range considered adequate for different hazards (Brooke, 1998) against the exposure range associated with the application of the control approaches in different scenarios
Control banding techniques are existing models which employ the concept of control banding concepts in workplace risk management (Jones & Mark, 2006)
Such Techniques include:
COSHH Essentials (United Kingdom)
Stoffenmanager (Netherlands)
Chemical Control toolkit ILO
Risk Potential Hierarchy (France)
Einfaches Massnahmenkonzept GefahrstoffeEMKG (Germany)
Regetox & Sobane (Belgium)
SQRA (Singapore)
KCT ( Korea) the
Some of the similarities and differences between COSHH Essentials, Stoffenmanager and the Chemical Control Toolkit are highlighted in the table below.
Chemical Control Toolkit
UK health and Safety Executive
International Labour Organisation
Are internet-based tools which help small- and medium-sized companies to handle hazardous substances with more care
Group chemical compounds into hazard bands using R-Phases
Group chemical compounds into hazard bands using R-Phases and the GHS
Hazard band is associated with a range of airborne concentrations, termed exposure bands, which are to be attained by the implementation
of recommended control technologies
The exposure model is different.
It is based on published approaches (Cherrie and
Schneider, 1999), including an evaluation of the processes
from source emissions to exposures
4.0 APPLICATION OF control banding in risk Assessment and control IN VAPOUR DEGREASING OPERATIONS.
Degreasing is the process whereby all greases and adherent material are removed from the surface of metal prior to undergoing electroplating, galvanising, tin plating, painting, varnishing and other surface protection processes. Vapour degreasing is one of the more common types of degreasing methods used in Industry (safe work Australia). Organic solvents are used in this process such as: 1,1,1-trichloroethane, perchloroethylene, 1,4-dioxane, isopropanol, Freon and methylene chloride (Jones & Mark, 2006).
In the practical Application of COSHH essentials in Vapour degreasing operations using the above-mentioned chemicals the following steps were taken:
Hazard group classification. The National Chemical Emergency Centers Lite database was utilized to source R-phases for the chemicals.
Determination of the the scale of use of the chemicals by calculating the volume of chemical as well as the duration and frequency of use of the chemicals.
Data on operating temperatures along with boiling point / vapour pressure data was utilized to determine the volatility of the chemicals.
The information acquired above was entered into the to the COSHH essentials web tool which associated the hazard bands determined with control methods to provide proection from the hazards. The control measures identified were Engineering and Special. (Jones & Mark, 2006)
The original model of control banding established at that time seems to have evolved over the years and today control banding techniques such as COSHH essentials and Stouffenmanager are useful web based tools available free of charge to small and medium enterprises for the purpose of assisting with the determination of control methods for chemical hazards in these SMEs.
The reviewed literature highlighted control banding as being a model of risk management in the workplace which relies on data regarding the health hazard and the exposure potential of the chemical substance. Hazard and exposure data is utilized by the model to carry out a risk assessment and as a result of this assessment control methods are selected.
An analysis of this control banding model has identified that in addition to providing a simple approach to hazard identification which enables the layman to conduct a qualitative risk assessment of chemical hazards in the workplace and determine relevant controls, the model also allows for the determination of management controls for chemicals with no Occupational Exposure Levels.
Control banding techniques

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