Joint Declaration on EU OSH Directives signed 8 December

Joint Declaration on EU OSH Directives signed 8 December


Press release

ECEG and industriAll Europe signed the Joint Declaration of the Social Partners of the European Chemical Industry on EU OSH Directives during Social Partners Working Group meeting on H&S.

The declaration refers to the ex-post OSH Directives evaluation, healthy workforces, improving the EU OSH legislative framework etc. Whilst Social Partners believe existing EU OSH Directives and their development in a balanced way can protect workers, there is however room for improvement in terms of:

  • Clarification of the terminology on hazard and risk assessment is required together with additional guidance to help reduce the number of occupational disease incidents;
  • Smart legislative design of the current process for setting European Union’s occupational exposure limits to bring more harmonisation across the EU;
  • Maintaining the existing Carcinogens & Mutagens Directive for C&M substances where no safe exposure levels can be determined to enable greater focus on safe management of such substances in the workplace; and
  • Promoting a holistic approach to protecting employees’ health in the workplace.

ECEG and industriAll Europe also referred to REACH in the interface of OSH legislation keenly debated by stakeholders. In particular, the convergence of workplace exposure limit values and how occupational health legislation links in with authorisation which are noted in the declaration. Moreover, they support the Risk Management Option Analysis approach built into the 2020 Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) Roadmap for identifying the best regulatory route to address chemicals of concern, for instance authorisation, restriction, substance evaluation or other legislative control beyond REACH, including EU OSH legislation. Risk management measures applied under worker protection legislation can provide adequate control on any potential OSH risk including those associated with new technologies, e.g. nanotechnology.

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