Occupational Safety & Health
Asbestos at Work Directive
- New legislative proposal to protect European workers from asbestos (September 2022)
To protect people from exposure to asbestos and prevent risks for future generations, the Commission sets out a comprehensive public health approach to:
- Better support victims of asbestos-related diseases
- Better protect workers from asbestos
- Improve information on asbestos in buildings.
- Ensure safe disposal of asbestos and zero pollution
June 2023: the EU agrees on better protection of workers against asbestos
After undergoing four trialogue negotiations among the European Commission, Council, and Parliament, the revised Directive on Asbestos at Work in the EU will establish a new occupational exposure limit of 2,000 fibres/m³. This new limit is significantly stricter, being 50 times lower than the current threshold of 100,000 fibres/m³. However, a lengthy implementation period will be observed:
1. Within two years, Member States are required to reduce the current exposure limit to 10,000 fibres/m³.
2. Within six years, Member States must further decrease the exposure limit to 2,000 fibres/m³.
Additionally, there will be a transition in the measurement methods used to count asbestos fibres. Member states will have a six-year period to adopt the electron microscopy method, which is considered more advanced and accurate.
- EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2021 – 2027: An update on safety and health rules at work with three key objectives: Anticipating and managing change in the new world of work; Improving prevention of work-related diseases and accidents and; Increasing preparedness for possible future health threats. An emphasis is placed on using strong social dialogue to implement the actions.
2016 – 2021 (ongoing)
- Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work
Roadmap on Carcinogens
- Fact sheets (ALL)
- Fact sheet on ‘Hydrazine’ – identified as an issue in the context of the military (November 2021)
- Fact sheet on ‘Combustion’ – Combustion processes take place in a wide variety of industries like metal processing, construction, shipyards, and transportation industries. Exposure to engine exhaust takes place in occupations such as mechanics in bus garages and truck terminals, truck drivers, firefighters, construction workers, forklift operators, people working with fixed power sources like compressors, generators, workers loading and unloading ships or airplanes, oil and gas workers and toll-booth workers (July 2022)
- Scoping study report on welding fumes (ECHA – European Chemicals Agency) – study report on the evaluation of limit values for welding fumes and fumes from other processes that generate fume in a similar way at the workplace.