OSHA has published Transitioning to Safer ChemicalsA Toolkit for Employers and Workers

It does a pretty good job of walking a company through the basic principles of finding safe substitutes as a means to achieve a safer workplace through eliminating hazardous chemicals use: informed substitution,  substitution planning and alternatives assessment.  It appropriately emphasizes testing and evaluation of the alternatives to make sure they actually are practical and work.  But it seems a little weak on prioritization by focusing on hazard as the main driver rather than prioritizing on risk - i.e., not looking for significant exposures to significantly hazardous chemicals.  While plugging away at substitution will get some results, it may not be the most efficient and effective way to get real overall risk reduction.  There's not much of a overall sustainability bent either - energy, environmental toxicity and resource impacts, social impacts - although some of the references cover more than worker safety.

Lots of references to EPA's Design for Environment program and the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute, as well as other organizations.

Definitely explore the steps and if you need help setting priorities that meet your life cycle management needs, contact EHS Strategies, Inc.

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