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NORA Construction Sector Strategic Goals

927007M - Assessing the Utility of Control Banding in the U.S.

Start Date: 10/1/2003
End Date: 9/30/2012

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Thomas Lentz
Phone: 513-533-8260
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: EID
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goal Addressed

Attributed to Construction

Project Description

Short Summary

Through national and global partnerships, this project will provide guidance for control banding, a simplified strategy for applying risk assessment and control technology concepts to occupational exposures in small businesses. This project will evaluate the effectiveness this approach and determine obstacles to implementation. Adapting existing models, the project will consider applications for NIOSH priority areas of ergonomics, dermal exposures, and traumatic injuries.


This project will investigate multiple issues relating to the utilization of control banding, a system of occupational hazard classification and control developed and initiated in the pharmaceutical industry and advanced in the United Kingdom (U.K.). This approach to controlling risk from chemical exposures was designed specifically to meet the needs of small businesses. Since its implementation by the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the control banding concept has been studied and endorsed by other international bodies, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization/ International Programme on Chemical Safety (WHO/IPCS), the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA), and within the United States by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). Primary objectives of this project will be to determine the utility and barriers to implementing control banding for addressing hazards in U.S. workplaces. This project translates research into practice for safety and health professionals, employers, and workers. Key components of the project include evaluation of the utility of the control banding approach (especially for small businesses) and development of guidance and information materials for practice.


Project objectives and corresponding performance measures include the following:

1) Conference on Control Banding in the United States - This conference/workshop assembled national experts and stakeholders to discuss a national control banding plan and agenda (Washington, DC, March 2005).

2) Coordinated Intercontinental Workshop on the Occupational Safety and Health Toolkit. This event will demonstrate the opportunities for international linkages to promote control banding strategies in developing and developed nations alike. A successful program will be signaled by the promotion and acceptance of the Global Implementation Strategy for control banding with effective demonstration of control-focused solutions observed simultaneously at two international scientific venues on different continents (Johannesburg, South Africa and Orlando, FL, September 2005).

3) NIOSH Control Banding Topic Page - The topic page provides a focal point for the Institute's control banding effort, conveying information and resources to and from multiple global sources.

4) Participatory action research projects - This component will focus on identifying industries and operations where control-focused strategies could have utility, and working with individuals and groups within those industries to develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of approaches.

5) Glutaraldehyde Hazard Guidance Development and Outreach - This objective utilizes a unique partnership comprised of NIOSH, a large chemical manufacturer, and the healthcare industry (chemical user) to develop hazard control guidance in the form of control-focused solutions where need exists to protect workers from glutaraldehyde exposures.

6) Control Banding Letter of Agreement - This component will leverage resources of NIOSH, U.K. HSE, and OSHA in coordinating efforts to develop and promote control banding solutions to occupational safety and health challenges and shared priorities.

Outreach in training efforts in FY07 did and in FY08 will include workshops in Chile and India coordinated by NIOSH and the World Health Organization (WHO) to present concepts and control-focused solutions for exposures to silica and other hazards in the workplace.

Publications of a review and critical analysis of the control banding literature is also scheduled to occur in early FY08.

Page last updated:April 24, 2013
Page last reviewed:May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director


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