Green Jobs: Definition and Method of Appraisal of Chemical and Biological Risks

Source: Erwan Cheneval, Marc-Antoine Busque, Claude Ostiguy, Jacques Lavoie1, Robert Bourbonnais, France Labrèche, Bouchra Bakhiyi and Joseph Zayed, The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Volume 60 Issue 3, April 2016

From the abstract:
In the wake of sustainable development, green jobs are developing rapidly, changing the work environment. However a green job is not automatically a safe job. The aim of the study was to define green jobs, and to establish a preliminary risk assessment of chemical substances and biological agents for workers in Quebec. An operational definition was developed, along with criteria and sustainable development principles to discriminate green jobs from regular jobs. The potential toxicity or hazard associated with their chemical and biological exposures was assessed, and the workers’ exposure appraised using an expert assessment method. A control banding approach was then used to assess risks for workers in selected green jobs. A double entry model allowed us to set priorities in terms of chemical or biological risk. Among jobs that present the highest risk potential, several are related to waste management. The developed method is flexible and could be adapted to better appraise the risks that workers are facing or to propose control measures.