SAFETY ON THE WORKPLACE – PROTECTION OF WORKERS

‘The European Pillar of Social Rights expresses principles and rights essential for fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems in 21st century Europe. It reaffirms some of the rights already present in the Union acquis. It adds new principles which address the challenges arising from societal, technological and economic developments’ [Recital n. 14].

Directive 2009/148/EC ‘aims to protect workers against risks to their health arising from exposure to asbestos at work. It lays down exposure limits and specific requirements with regard to safe work practices, including in respect of: demolition, repairing, maintenance and asbestos removal work; information, consultation and training of workers; health monitoring’. Eu-wide there is a general ban of asbestos: ‘the only exception from this prohibition is the treatment and disposal of products resulting from demolition and asbestos removal’. [Source: http://eur-lex.europa.eu]

Directive 89/931/ECCintroduces measures to improve the health and safety of people at work. It sets out obligations for both employers and employees to reduce accidents and occupational disease in the workplace. The directive applies to all sectors of public and private activity (industrial, agricultural, commercial, administrative, service, educational, cultural, leisure and others)’. It stipulates that employees have, among others, the following duties: ‘to ensure the health and safety of their workforce (this includes evaluating and avoiding risks, developing an overall safety policy and providing appropriate training to staff); (…) to assess the risks particular workers might face and ensure the necessary protective measures are in place; provide employees and/or their representatives with all relevant information on possible health and safety risks and the measures taken to prevent them’. [Source: http://eur-lex.europa.eu]