> Shouldn't we be considering both the observed incident rates along with the inherent process based exposure hazards?
Probably. The reason I ask this question is that sources such as Not Voodoo X
suggest that glass cuts and thermal injuries are the most common lab injuries, but much of our attention goes into somewhat esoteric chemical hazards. I sometimes think that our control systems drive our risk management rather than vice versa.
> > I had not compared/contrasted the specific control methodologies and differences to chemical vs. biological control banding. What are they?
Thanks to some help from the list, I have posted a collection of laboratory control banding resources and examples at
(Please note that I'd like to add examples to this page if anyone know of web-available tools).
In my mind, the difference between chemical and biological controls is the use of the maxim of "dilution is the solution to pollution" in chemical safety (for example in the control of flammable vapors), whereas in biosafety dilution increases the problem. There are a lot of practical implications of this difference in control strategies that show up in the control banding strategies without being explicitly stated.
> >I think it is better to return to our roots of recognition, evaluation and control (elimination is often not a scientific option).
My feeling is that control banding tries to wrap up "recognition, evaluation and control" into a single step in order to increase the user-friendliness of the process, but you're right we have to keep those roots of the safety management process in mind as we use any CB system.
For what it's worth, I have seen many cases in which laboratory people implement elimination strategies on their own. I don't think anyone likes to work with carbon tet, benzene or chromerge unnecessarily and they are all much rarer in chemistry laboratories than during my laboratory tenure in the early 80's. It's when they have irreplaceable hazards that they ask for EHS help.
Thanks for your comments on this.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College
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