Control banding (CB) is a technique used to guide the assessment and management of facility risks.

It starts by defining the hazards: (such as skin/eye irritant, very toxic, carcinogenic, etc), and the potential exposures: (small, medium, large exposure). This will be used to group identified risks into buckets and define the control bands. Then the methodology will identify relevant control measures (for example dilution ventilation, engineering controls, containment, PPE etc.)

It is an approach that is based on two assumptions; the fact that there are a limited number of control approaches, and that many problems have been met and solved before. CB uses the solutions that experts have developed previously to control occupational biological and chemical large scale exposures, and suggesting them to other tasks with similar exposure situations. It is an approach that focuses resources on exposure controls and describes how strictly a risk needs to be managed.

Control banding must be used in conjunction with health and safety practices such as substitution, administrative controls etc.

Substitution for a less hazardous biological agent or chemical is still highly recommended to prevent exposure in the first place but is rarely a feasible path for pharmaceutical and vaccine productions.