Technical measures are the second step in the STOP strategy to prevent exposure to hazardous substances. Only when substitution is (reasonably) not possible, technical measures are considered.
There are different types of technical control measures that greatly reduce or even eliminate exposure altogether, such as casing, built-in extraction in tools and extraction systems. Technical measures are an important step in reducing exposure, as they ensure a safer situation for everyone in the immediate vicinity.
Technical measures hazardous substances
The following types of technical measures can be used to prevent exposure to hazardous substances. Depending on the workplace and the situation in which exposure occurs, the most appropriate technique should be chosen and installed.
- Control measures without ventilation
By keeping rooms and vessels closed as much as possible, the duration of substances release is limited. Good closures are essential for volatile substances. Machines / robots can be used to mix or pour substances in enclosed spaces, so that employees are not exposed. Depending on the fabric and the work process, ventilation-free control measures are effective.
- Control measures with ventilation
Preferably opt for extraction directly at the source. This can be done with tools (for example, a welding torch with integrated extraction), but also in mixing systems. This is how the air is extracted before it can reach an employee. Fixed installations can be perfectly adjusted and are therefore preferable to movable extraction, where adjustments have to be made and the effectiveness depends on the user (who takes the trouble to move the extraction). Ventilation in the room can be a solution, but must be properly adjusted to prevent a substance from spreading through the room.
- Combination of enclosure and ventilation
A combination of an enclosure with extraction can also be extremely effective. The air is sucked in at the front, which prevents emissions to the workplace.
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Maintenance and use
Maintenance, cleaning and proper use ensure that technical measures are effective. Regular maintenance and cleaning is essential for technical measures to ensure that they continue to function properly. Make sure this is done preventively. It is often not clear that an extraction system no longer functions optimally, creating an unjustified feeling of safety. Proper maintenance also prevents malfunctions..
Exposure Control Efficacy Library (ECEL)
ECEL 3.0 is a searchable library of Risk Management Measures in the field of occupational and environmental risks (RMM). The tool is free, but you do need to register. You can evaluate the quantitative effectiveness of a specific RMM and search for the most appropriate RMM for a particular exposure or emission scenario.Go to ECEL
Roadmap on Carcinogens
Do you want to know more about carcinogens? Then take a look at the extensive factsheets about carcinogens. They are all also available in Dutch.Factsheets CMR substances