Exposure Control Plans


Exposure Control Plans

For some businesses, an exposure control plan may be 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 control 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 plans for their business. For some businesses, it is a crucial element of a company’s Health and Safety or Loss Control Management Systems.

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

Get In-Depth Information About Exposure Control Plans

As an industry leader in the development of exposure control plans, we have compiled essential information and resources surrounding exposure control plans. Explore our insightful guide for detailed information relating to exposure control plans and regulatory requirements.

Traditional approach to Exposure Control Plans

Exposure Control Plans would traditionally be developed by a 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 - if you add more chemicals to the worksite or you change worksites; you would need to call that consultant again to modify the Exposure Control Plan.

What Designated Substances Require an Exposure Control Plan?

You will want to check with your regulatory body on what 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 

Asbestos 

Noise 

Benzene (BTEX) 

(i.e. Produced liquids, crude oil, 

condensate) 

NORM 

Beryllium 

Mercury 

Blood Borne Pathogens 

Oil Based Drilling Fluids 

1,3 Butadiene 

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

abrasive blasting) 

Cadmium 

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. 

Health Hazard Pictogram

Chemscape’s Approach to Exposure Control Plans

Chemscape approaches developing Exposure Control Plans differently. Chemscape has decades of Chemical & SDS Management experience in Oil and Gas. We have developed a system called CHAMP that can do what a consultant does in terms of assessing your chemicals and authoring an Exposure Control Plan. But the benefit of our system is you are in control. The end result is not static. CHAMP produces Exposure Control Plans that are flexible and adaptable in our system and can change. A lot of things are uncertain in Oil and Gas but the only thing that is certain is change and more regulations. CHAMP adapts with your business.

Exposure Control Plans Start with Chemscape’s CHAMP Tool to Assess the Health Hazards of Your Chemical Inventory

Assess the Hazards In Your Chemical Inventory

Chemscape uses the hierarchy of controls to identify the chemical hazards, assess the risk of exposure and control the risk. A knowledge of each level and under the circumstances they apply is important when developing an exposure control plan. The hierarchy of control is a widely accepted system used in industry to minimize or reduce exposure to hazards. Chemscape applies this methodology when creating an exposure control plan for clients.

How does the hierarchy of control influence an Exposure Control Plan?

The hierarchy of control is often the cornerstone within regulations, policy statements, health and safety, and chemical management systems. 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 elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE). A knowledge of each level of control and under the circumstances they apply is important when developing an exposure control plan.

Elements of an Exposure Control Plan

There are many common elements for a successful exposure control plan. Legislation does require certain elements to be including in your exposure control plan. Your company's exposure control plan must be custom tailored to your specific workplace hazards, operations, industry and organizational standards and industrial hygiene. 

How does Chemical Management Fit with an Exposure Control Plan?

According to the hierarchy of controls the premise of chemical management is to identify the chemical hazards, assess the risk of exposure, and control that risk. As simple as this process sounds, it is an elevation of your health and safety management system to understand the role workplace chemicals play in the risk of injury and illness. An ECP brings your chemical management system down to the level of the worker by communicating the hazards and the controls according to their tasks.

Chemical Management & Exposure Control Plans

Professional Exposure Control Plan Development

CHAMP Makes You Ready for An Inspector

CHAMP approach to Exposure Control Plan Development

CHAMP tracks the chemicals your workers are exposed to and requests information on jobsite engineering controls, the quantity and frequency of chemical 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 Inspector

The regulator wants 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 – Do they know the chemicals they work with? Their hazards? How to work safely with it? Your employee can point to tools produced from CHAMP like our SmartChart poster and explain exactly what products they work with, their hazards and how they are protecting themselves. 

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 on the jobsite. The regulator wants to see you have addressed these hazards of special concern. If you have any of these substances on the jobsite you need an Exposure Control Plan. If your workers are exposed to the following hazards, you need to address how you are protecting them:

 

The CHAMP Advantage

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

By using CHAMP 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 get started?

Chemscape has a plan and industrial hygienists to support you getting started on 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.

Contact us to learn more

 

FAQ About Exposure Control Plans


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, any exposure hazards workers may encounter while performing routine and non- routine tasks, and the protective measures available. Certain regulatory bodies (WorkSafe BC, OSHA in USA, and OH&S in AB) require employers to develop exposure control plans (ECP). The ECPs may have different titles based on the jurisdiction, but they have similar requirements and intent. 

There are different drivers 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 workers compensation boards. ECP’s 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 included in health and safety management systems.

An ECP specifies the methods for controlling exposures associated with your chemical inventory. Success is measured by the ECP implementation – do the workers understand and use the health and safety controls described by the plan?