NIOSH develops engineering controls database

Controls generally do not interfere with worker productivity or personal comfort

Posted August 23, 2016

The new NIOSH Engineering Controls Database serves as a central repository of current NIOSH information on engineering control technology. The database can be searched by occupation or work process to find a solution that may work to control many workplace exposures.

A hierarchy of controls is traditionally used as a means of determining how to implement feasible and effective control solutions. Engineering controls are favored over administrative and personal protective equipment (PPE) for controlling existing worker exposures in the workplace because they are designed to remove the hazard at the source, before it comes in contact with the worker.

Examples of engineering controls include elimination, substitution, local exhaust ventilation to capture and remove airborne emissions, or machine guards to protect the worker. Controls generally do not interfere with worker productivity or personal comfort and make the work easier to perform rather than more difficult. The initial cost of engineering controls can be higher than the cost of administrative controls or PPE, but over the longer term, operating costs are frequently lower, and in some instances, can provide a cost savings in other areas of the process.

The NIOSH Engineering Control Database contains summaries and schematics/pictures of the controls and details about their effectiveness. The objective of the database is to provide basic information on engineering control technologies as well as deliver information to users who need engineering control solutions to reduce or eliminate worker exposures. The database contains only previously published material authored by NIOSH researchers. All database entries have been reviewed and edited by subject matter experts for accuracy.

1910 OSHA GuideOSHA Rules for General Industry: 1910 and Other Essential Regulations puts OSHA’s workplace safety regulations in a reader-friendly format.


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