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NIOSH releases chemical management strategy

Allows users to assign chemicals into hazard categories to protect workers

Posted July 12, 2019

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released a chemical management strategy that it says can quickly and accurately assign chemicals into categories, or "bands," in order to protect workers on the job. The Agency says that a vast number of chemical substances do not have occupational exposure limits (OELs) for the workplace, potentially exposing workers to substances at harmful levels.

According to NIOSH, occupational exposure banding is a voluntary process that assigns each chemical to a category based on its toxicity and any negative health outcomes associated with exposure to that chemical. The Agency's new technical report – The NIOSH Occupational Exposure Banding Process for Chemical Management – details the use and application of the OEL banding process and allows users to band a chemically manually or to use the occupational exposure banding e-Tool.

NIOSH says that public health agencies, practicing occupational health and safety professionals, employers, trade associations, labor organizations, and state-level programs can use the OEL process to protect workers from occupational exposures to chemicals.

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