Controlling the risks
Some control measures are more effective than others at reducing the risk of exposure. Control measures can be ranked from the highest level of protection and reliability to the lowest. This ranking is known as the hierarchy of control. Specific advice on control measures to use during work which poses the highest risk of exposure to RCF or HBF, for example removal of RCF or HBF from plant or structures, is provided in Chapter 3.
ELIMINATING THE RISK OF EXPOSURE Eliminating the risk means removing the hazard or hazardous work practice from the workplace. This is the most effective control measure and must always be considered before anything else. For example, modify the structure or plant in the design phase so RCF or HBF is not required, or substitute material containing RCF or HBF with low biopersistent fibre product having the required performance characteristics. If eliminating the risk is not reasonably practicable you must use substitution, isolation or engineering controls, or a combination of these control measures, to minimise the risk so far as is reasonably practicable.
MINIMISING THE RISK OF EXPOSURE Substitution Minimise the risk by substituting or replacing a hazard or hazardous work practice with a safer one. For example, substituting an uncut RCF or HBF product with a pre-cut or preshaped product will minimise the risk of dust and fibre release. You could also consider using an encapsulated form of an RCF product. Isolation Minimise the risk by isolating or separating the hazard or hazardous work practice from people. For example, isolating material or plant containing RCF or HBF so dust and fibres are unable to travel outside the work area.
Engineering controls Engineering controls are physical control measures to minimise risk, for example: using extraction and ventilation systems to prevent dust and fibre dispersion wetting products with a fine clean mist of water before and during use but only where there is no risk of electric shock and no live wires are present storing material in original packaging and only opening packaging when needed, and repacking and safely storing RCF or HCF materials not fully used to prevent dust and fibre release.