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J Occup Environ Hyg. 2009 May;6(5):307-14. doi: 10.1080/15459620902810083.

Training health and safety committees to use control banding: lessons learned and opportunities for the United States.

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  • 1Section of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030-6210, USA.


Control banding (CB) is a control-focused risk management model that has received international attention. CB strategies are designed to control workplace chemical exposures after the completion of a qualitative risk assessment. Connecticut was one of the first states to provide training on how to use this control-focused tool. Joint labor/management teams and individuals from 34 workplaces attended a control banding workshop and learned how to use one CB model, the United Kingdom (UK) Health and Safety Executive's Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Essentials Toolkit. After the initial training program the investigators used follow-up workshops, questionnaires, site visit data, and case studies to evaluate the training curriculum and assess the utility and effectiveness of this CB strategy. We found that the model is easily learned, although several areas for improvement were identified. Participants from 10 workplaces used COSHH Essentials to evaluate at least one task. The training curriculum was effective in that the agreement between the exposure variables coded by these workplaces and one of the workshop instructors, a certified industrial hygienist (CIH), were highly concordant. The training curriculum and the model promoted a discussion of risk between workers and managers and resulted in the implementation of improvements in the work environment. The model agreed with both the CIH's and the worksites' qualitative risk assessments 65% of the time, and likely over-controlled for 71% (5/7) of the cases of nonagreement. Feedback from workshop participants benefits the current dialogue on the implications of implementing CB in the United States.

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