Health & Safety: Key Elements for Creating a Risk Management Plan
Health & Safety Committee Conservation Wiki
Copyright: 2014. The Health & Safety Wiki pages are a publication of the Health & Safety Committee of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
Disclaimer: Some of the information included on this page may be out of date, particularly with regard to toxicological data and regulatory standards. Also, because new information on safety issues is continually published, resources outside of AIC should be consulted for more specific information.
Contributors to this page: Kerith Koss Schrager
The following procedures will help create a risk management plan for the safe handling of hazardous collection materials objects.
For information specifically related to pesticides, see Risk Management for Pesticide-Contaminated Collections.
ARE YOU AT RISK?
HAZARD vs. RISK -- An Important Distinction!
Pesticides are inherently hazardous by nature. Risk is the degree to which that hazard will negatively affect your body’s systems.
Disciplined reliance on OSHA recommended safe work practices, engineering controls, and proper training will help reduce your health risks.
For example, formaldehyde (a carcinogen)poses low-exposure risk if handled with proper gloves and used in a hood by a person with safe work practice training.
WHAT IS A RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN?
A Risk Management Plan serves to protect persons from the risks associated with workplace tasks such as handling collections-based hazards inherent to or acquired by objects and specimens.Once the commitment is made to create proactive safety programs, the technologies of hazard control are well-developed, often inexpensive, and easily accessible.
KEY ELEMENTS FOR CREATING A RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN
- Hazard Identification
- Exposure Assessment
- Remediation and Decontamination
- Safety Protocols and Training
- Hazard Communication