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A 2-day Occupational Health and Safety Forum
 
The Forum's Title: New Strategies for Recognizing and Preventing Occupational Disease
March 3 & 4, 2005
Toronto, Canada
 
Forum Survey's - Add Your Voice

Poster Session 4
 
Product Stewardship and Powerful Partnerships in the North American Refractory Ceramic Fibre Industry
Presented by:Greg Drumm
Patrick Snodgrass
Steve H. Chen
The Refractory Ceramic Fibers Coalition (RCFC), a trade organization of the three largest refractory ceramic fibre (RCF) manufacturers in North America, formally introduced a comprehensive Product Stewardship Program (PSP) in the early 1990s.
PSP, through a set of core elements, collectively forms a pro-active risk management approach to the prevention of occupational disease. PSP was developed after high-dose inhalation tests with animals indicated RCF has the potential to cause fibrosis and lung and pleural cancer.
Two major aspects of PSP include workplace assessments and ongoing epidemiological studies. Through workplace assessments, PSP actively assists RCF users in evaluation, control and reduction of workplace exposures. Exposure reduction is viewed as a principle PSP risk management tool in occupational disease prevention. RCFC also continues to support epidemiological studies of current and former workers in the RCF industry. To date, researchers have found no clinically significant occupational disease as a result of RCF exposures.
Additional PSP highlights include, establishment of an occupational exposure database (containing several-thousand exposure data points), occupational risk assessment, and a demonstrated time-trend reduction in workplace exposures.
Beyond the significant proactive outreach efforts to customers/end-users, RCFC has established positive working relationships and partnering initiatives with various stakeholders across North America. Stakeholders include leading occupational health and environmental regulatory agencies such as Environment Canada, Ontario Ministry of Labour, USEPA, NIOSH and OSHA as well as other agencies, labour and industry groups such as the Construction Safety Association of Ontario and equipment vendors/manufacturers.
These partnering initiatives have included exposure assessment studies, stack testing and emission inventories, critical statistical review of occupational exposure data, establishment of handling guidelines and workplace exposure reduction methods all focused on risk management and prevention of occupational disease.
RCFC will continue to support PSP efforts and build upon their successes for the future.
 
Greg Drumm
Refractory Ceramic Fibers Coalition
2351 Whirlpool St
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
USA
716-278-3965
gdrumm@unifrax.com
Patrick Snodgrass
Refractory Ceramic Fibers Coalition
2351 Whirlpool St
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
USA
716-278-3967
psnodgrass@unifrax.com
Steve H. Chen
Refractory Ceramic Fibers Coalition
2351 Whirlpool St
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
Lowell, MA 01854
USA

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