Exposure Control Plans

For some businesses, an exposure control plan is an essential document to have on hand, particularly for those businesses where workers are working alongside hazardous materials.

There are a number of factors that will determine whether or not a business is required to have an exposure plan in place. Individual regulatory bodies, such as WorkSafe BC, OSHA and OH&S, may dictate whether or not employers are required to develop exposure control programs for their business. For some businesses, it is a crucial element of a company’s Health and Safety or Loss Control Management Systems.

Essential Information for Developing Exposure Control Programs

Chemscape has decades of experience in authoring and developing exposure control plans as part of our Chemical Hazard Assessment Management Program (CHAMP). Chemscape examines each of our client's businesses to assess the unique health hazards of their chemical inventory, reviewing essential elements such as elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls and PPE to deliver effective and adaptive control measures.

As an industry leader in the development of hazard control plans, we have compiled essential information and resources surrounding programs for enhanced workplace safety in accordance with regulatory requirements. 

What Hazardous Substances Require an Exposure Control Plan?

You will want to check with your regulatory body on what hazardous substances will require an exposure control plan. This table indicates substances that commonly require ECPs.

Substances that may require an Exposure Control Plan 

Arsenic and arsenic compounds 

Diesel Fumes 



Benzene (BTEX) 

(i.e. Produced liquids, crude oil, 





Blood Borne Pathogens 

Oil Based Drilling Fluids 

1,3 Butadiene 

Silica (drilling fluid additives, road sand/gravel, cement, frac sand, 

abrasive blasting) 


Toxic Gases (i.e. Hydrogen Sulphide

Ammonia, Methanol, Chlorine) 

Carcinogens as identified by ACGIH 

and IARC 

Welding Fumes 

This health hazard pictogram is a quick and easy indicator of when to consider having an ECP for your worksite or operation in case of potential exposure. 

Health Hazard Pictogram

The Traditional approach vs. Chemscape’s Approach to Developing an ECP

Exposure Control Plans would traditionally be developed by an industrial hygiene consultant who would come out to your worksite and do a hazard assessment on your chemicals for that moment in time. But if anything changes - such as adding more chemicals to the worksite or changing worksites; you would need to call that consultant again to modify the Exposure Control Plan.

Chemscape approaches developing Exposure Control Plans differently. Chemscape has decades of Chemical & SDS Management experience in many industries. We have developed a chemical management software called CHAMP that can do what an industrial hygiene consultant does in terms of assessing hazardous chemicals and infectious materials to author an ECP. The benefit of our hazard assessment system is that you are in control and that the end result is not static.

The Chemical Hazard Assessment and Management Program (CHAMP) produces Exposure Control Plans that are flexible and adaptable in our system and can change with the needs of your operations.

Go beyond traditional ECP development with accurate chemical control


Applying the Hierarchy of Controls to Exposure Control Plans


Assess the Hazards In Your Chemical Inventory


CHAMP uses the hierarchy of controls to identify the potential occupational hazards, assess the risk of exposure and control the chemical risk. A knowledge of each level and under the circumstances they apply is important when developing an ECP. The hierarchy of control is a widely accepted system used in the industry to minimize or reduce occupational exposure to potential hazards and is often the cornerstone within:

  • Regulations

  • Policy statements 

  • Health and safety 

  • Chemical management systems  

Chemscape applies this methodology when creating an exposure plan for clients.

The 5 Methods of Control

You may be familiar with some form of the hierarchy of controls diagram by NIOSH. There are 5 methods of control ranking from the most effective to the least effective. The most effective (and cost-effective) exposure controls are at the top of the triangle with:  

  1. Elimination  

  1. Substitution 

  1. Engineering controls 

  1. Administrative controls 

  1. Personal protective equipment (PPE).  

A knowledge of each level of hazardous control and under the circumstances they apply is important when developing an ECP. 


Elements of an Exposure Control Plan

An ECP brings your chemical control program down to the level of the worker by communicating the hazards and the controls according to their tasks. 

There are many common elements of a successful ECP and legislation does require certain elements to be included in your plan. Your company's exposure control plan must be customized to your specific workplace hazards, operations, industry and organizational standards and industrial hygiene. 

Learn more about the elements of an exposure control plan


Developing an Exposure Control Plan with CHAMP


Chemical Management & Exposure Control Plans


Occupational Hazard Identification & Recommended Exposure Controls

CHAMP tracks the chemicals your workers are exposed to and requests information on jobsite engineering controls, the quantity and frequency of chemicals used and product use. This information calculates a hazard assessment. CHAMP identifies the health hazards of the products your workers are exposed to and recommends controls on how workers can reduce exposure. CHAMP does a risk assessment by work task. You can add in industrial hygiene monitoring, job safety analysis, and safe operating procedures. It all combines to produce an Exposure Control Plan and Chemical Management Program that shows the regulator you take safety seriously and have thoroughly thought through how you will implement this at the jobsite.

CHAMP Makes You Ready for An Occupational Safety Inspector

Regulators want to see more than just a document. They will evaluate you not only on the contents of the documents but how well you have implemented the ECP with your workers. They will enter your worksite and ask your most junior employee if they know the chemicals they work with, their hazards, and how to work safely with them. Your employee can answer these questions by utilizing the tools produced by CHAMP, such as our SmartChart poster. 

Elevate the level of hazard communication standards for your employees.

Assess the Chemical Risks of Your Workplace

Does your worksite have any of these health hazards or operations?

CHAMP provides focus on high hazard substances your workers may be exposed to on the jobsite. The regulator wants to see you have addressed these occupational hazards of special concern. If you have any of these substances on the jobsite you need an Exposure Control Plan. 


The CHAMP Advantage

Some companies pay lip service to say they are safe. But the CHAMP method proves you work safely as a company. The advantage of Chemscape’s chemical management approach is when you work for another prime contractor you can show them you have CHAMP implemented and are ready for business.

By using our workplace hazard assessment tool you will: 

  1. Comply and exceed regulatory standards  

  1. Have an ECP that will adapt and change with your business 

  1. Be ready for the next prime contractor as your business grows

Are you ready to begin developing your custom exposure control plan?

Chemscape has a plan and industrial hygienists to support you in implementing CHAMP and developing an Exposure Control Plan for your business.

Speak to our occupational health experts to learn more about how CHAMP can be the foundation for your chemical handling and exposure control plans.

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FAQ About Exposure Control Plan

An Exposure Control Plan (ECP) is a product of an organization’s chemical or health and safety management system that provides direction and expectations to prevent exposure to workers. Based on where you operate, your regulatory authority may require you to have one or more exposure control plans. These written documents are specific to your organization and worksite, are used for any exposure hazards workers may encounter while performing routine and non- routine tasks and outline the protective measures available. Certain regulatory bodies (WorkSafe BC, OSHA in USA, and OH&S in AB) require employers to develop exposure control plans. The ECPs may have different titles based on the jurisdiction, but they have similar requirements and intent. 

There are different drivers for the need for an ECP; It may be integrated into your Health and Safety or Loss Control Management System or it may be a requirement based on your regulatory authority. 

In British Columbia for example, employers are required under Section 5.54 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) to develop an Exposure Control Plan (ECP) when workers are or may be exposed to certain designated substances at concentrations that exceed 50% of the exposure limit or cannot be measured as well as toxic process gases. If this exposure potential exists, the employer is required to look for a substitute or develop an exposure control plan. 

Occupational health statistics indicate that more than 50% of all fatalities in Alberta and British Columbia are due to occupational disease. In 2015, WorkSafe BC stats indicated that there were 122 deaths due to occupational disease and 72 were due to worksite exposures. Overall, there is a trend for more claims for occupational disease/illnesses being recognized and accepted by worker's compensation boards. ECPs are meant to control the hazards and eliminate or mitigate the risks associated with potential exposure. Regulators want to see that prevention from occupational disease is being taken seriously and are included in your organization's health and safety management systems.

Success is measured by the ECP implementation when workers understand and use the health and safety controls described by the plan. 

Contact Chemscape for a Demo