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Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment


Engineering controls, administrative policies, and personal protective equipment are needed to manage exposures to occupational hazards. Engineering controls include substitution of a safe material for a hazardous one, design changes to equipment, or modification of work methods to eliminate or reduce hazards. Changes in work practices and management policies and training programs are examples of administrative controls. In some cases where it is not otherwise possible to maintain a healthy work environment, personal protective equipment such as respirators and protective clothing can be used to isolate workers from the hazard. Research is needed to develop and evaluate control strategies for specific hazards and to assure their practicality and usability in workplaces.

A. Improve the effectiveness of existing or proposed engineering controls (including retrofit solutions).

B. Develop control measures for new workplace hazards.

C. Develop products or approaches that reduce/eliminate the specific hazardous parts of a job that contribute most to the actual exposure, including personal hygiene where contamination of surfaces, clothing, or skin may occur.

D. Develop personal protective equipment that will fit the anthropometric diversity in today’s workforce.

E. Develop alternatives to pesticide application and hazardous waste remediation.

F. Develop micro sensing devices to notify workers before chemicals break through protective clothing and identify failures in containment systems for hazardous materials.

G. Develop new materials for clothing to protect against chemical and physical hazards.

H. Develop information dissemination methods to help businesses learn about and implement occupational safety and health programs.

I. Develop training materials to teach hazards and risks, demonstrate solutions, measure changes in behavior and practices, and improve injury and illness rates.

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