Sunday, March 17th, 2019
Think of elimination when planning a new task involving chemicals

Think of elimination when planning a new task involving chemicals  


As with all workplace hazards, the first objective is to eliminate the hazards which is the most effective method of control. Elimination is ideal to implement as a control strategy at the beginning or planning stage of a job process or task involving chemicals. It is less expensive and easier to implement. Once processes are existing it becomes difficult to modify; especially if equipment and procedures are affected. Habits are hard to change.  


NIOSH has an initiative called Prevention by Designthe mission of the Prevention through Design initiative is to prevent or reduce occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities through the inclusion of prevention considerations in all designs that impact workers. This includes the design, redesign and retrofit of new and existing work premises, structures, tools, facilities, equipment, machinery, products, substances, work processes and the organization of work. 


The theory was based on the concept was that to minimize occupational hazards early in the design process would optimize employer health and safety throughout the lifecycle of materials and process. This also lessens the burden and reliance on PPE; the least effective method of control in the Hierarchy of Controls.   


Elimination starts at setting priorities and standards to provide guidance and leadership to development management standards.  


Control Banding is a great method to identify engineering controls but can also be used to objectively rank hazardous substances to eliminate or substitute.  


There is no definitive line when a product becomes safe or unsafe. Keeping exposures as low as possible or eliminating them is the best rule of thumb.  

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