1646e Qualitative strategies to simplify work-related risk reduction

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Abstract

Introduction

Clear and consistent communication of risk within the Occupational Safety, Health, and Hygiene (OSHH) professions is essential for achieving prevention of work-related diseases. This risk communication must be simplified. It must speak to workers directly, assisting them in identifying work-related hazards and implementing solutions. Controls that assist in preventing the most common work-related diseases are well known to OSHH professionals, yet they remain unknown to 2.5 billion workers. This results in an annual estimate of 2 million deaths from and 160 million incidences of work-related noncommunicable diseases within the global workforce, primarily in Economically Developing Countries (EDCs).

Methods

Utilising fundamental Occupational Hygiene principles and Control Banding’s qualitative strategy for assessing occupational risks and the selection of solutions, a Risk Level Based Management System (RLBMS) was developed. RLBMS is designed to deliver the most elusive element necessary for success; risk communication within and between OSHH professions. This qualitative occupational risk assessment and risk management strategy has been trialled across chemical, physical, and biological agents in a high regulatory enforcement environment.

Result

Initial qualitative risk assessment not only standardises controls, it also prioritises where and when quantitative monitoring needs to be performed. In addition, de-confliction of multidisciplinary controls for an individual task is presented to the workers for simple, clear, and concise guidance on how to reduce risk and achieve exposure prevention on a daily basis. This simple and consistent risk communication was successful for worker understanding and implementation of controls. Further simplifying communications to colours and symbols renders it applicable in EDCs globally.

Discussion

Control Banding outcomes have been applied internationally, implemented by national institutes and university programs, and directly transferred into national regulations. RLBMS outcomes can assist in addressing the 2.5 billion workers worldwide without access to OSHH experts, providing a strategy for preventing work-related noncommunicable diseases in EDCs.

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