Category Archives: Health Hygiene and Safety at Work

Although one of the goals of the European Union is to create employment through the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs, it also tries to ensure that these new jobs are of a higher quality. Health and safety at work is now one of the most important and most advanced areas of EU social policy. Community action in this area is not limited to legislation. The European Institutions carry out several activities providing information and guidance and promoting a safe and healthy working environment in cooperation with the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

Health and safety of workers: conditions applicable to the workplace

Health and safety of workers: conditions applicable to the workplace

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Health and safety of workers: conditions applicable to the workplace

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Health and safety of workers: conditions applicable to the workplace

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 89/654/EEC of 30 November 1989 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the workplace (first individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive aims at protecting the health and safety of workers at their workplace * . It supplements the general provisions of Directive 89/391/EEC on matters of health and safety at work.

However, the Directive does not apply to:

  • means of transport used outside the undertaking or workplaces situated inside means of transport;
  • temporary or mobile work sites;
  • extractive industries;
  • fishing boats;
  • fields, woods and other land situated away from the buildings of an agricultural or forestry undertaking.

Employers’ obligations

The minimum health safety and conditions applicable are provided in Annex I to the Directive for cases where the workplaces were used for the first time after 31 December 1992 or when these locations were converted after this date.

If the workplaces were used before 1 January 1993, they must meet the requirements provided for in Annex II to the Directive.

In addition, the employer must ensure:

  • emergency exits are kept clear and can be used at all times;
  • good technical maintenance of the workplace, equipment and devices, and the quick rectification of defective elements which may present a risk;
  • adequate hygiene conditions;
  • regular maintenance and checks of safety equipment to prevent and eliminate hazards.

Information and consultation of workers

Workers and/or their representatives are informed of all measures to be taken in order to protect their health and safety.

They are consulted on all issues and measures connected with this area, in accordance with the provisions of Directive 89/391/EEC.

Key terms
  • Workplace: means the workstations housed on the premises of the undertaking and/or establishment, and any other place within the area of the undertaking to which the worker has access in the course of his/her employment.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 89/654/EEC

15.12.89

31.12.1992 (31.12.94 for Greece)

OJ L 393 of 30.12.89

Amending Act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2007/30/EC

28.6.2007

31.12.2012

OJ L 165 of 27.6.2007

Protection of workers from exposure to biological agents

Protection of workers from exposure to biological agents

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of workers from exposure to biological agents

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Protection of workers from exposure to biological agents

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2000/54/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 18 September 2000 on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents at work (seventh individual directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC).

Summary

This Directive protects the health and safety of workers exposed to biological agents * whilst undertaking their work.

Biological agents are classified into four risk groups, according to the risk of infection involved:

  • group 1 includes agents that are unlikely to cause human disease;
  • group 2 concerns agents that can cause human disease but are unlikely to spread to the community, for which effective treatment is available;
  • group 3 includes agents that can cause human disease and may spread to the community, although prevention or treatment is possible;
  • group 4 concerns agents that can cause severe human disease. They present a high risk of spreading to the community, for which there is no effective treatment.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment must be carried out for all professional activities that may expose workers to biological agents. The nature, degree and duration of exposure shall be determined in order to plan preventive measures.

The employer shall participate in regular risk assessments.

Employers’ obligations

If the activity so permits, the employer must replace the harmful agents with agents that are not dangerous or are less dangerous, considering their conditions of use and the level of scientific knowledge thereof.

Moreover, if there is a risk to the safety or health of workers, the employer shall ensure that such risk is reduced to a sufficiently low level. The employer may:

  • limit the number of workers exposed to a minimum;
  • control the release of agents into the workplace, using technical procedures;
  • organise collective and/or individual protection measures;
  • prevent or reduce accidental release outside the workplace, using hygiene measures;
  • install risk warning signs;
  • draw up plans to deal with accidents;
  • provide for the collection, storage and disposal of waste;
  • arrange for safe handling conditions and transport of biological agents.

The employer is obliged to keep a list of workers exposed to group 3 and/or group 4 agents. This list may be kept for up to 40 years in some cases. Furthermore, the employer shall inform the competent national authority when group 2, group 3 or group 4 biological agents are used for the first time.

Lastly, the employer shall ensure that workers and/or their representatives are sufficiently informed and trained, concerning:

  • potential risks to health;
  • precautions to be taken to prevent exposure;
  • hygiene rules;
  • use of protective equipment and clothing;
  • measures to be taken in the case of incidents.

If there is an accident or incident, the employer shall inform workers and/or their representatives as soon as possible of the causes, risks and measures to be taken.

Health surveillance

The Member States shall establish arrangements to carry out the health surveillance of workers, prior to and following exposure to biological agents.

Context

Directive 90/679/EEC on the risks related to exposure of workers to biological agents is repealed.

Key terms
  • Biological agents: micro-organisms, including those which have been genetically modified, cell cultures and human endoparasites, which may be able to provoke any infection, allergy or toxicity.
  • Micro-organism: a microbiological entity, cellular or non-cellular, capable of replication or of transferring genetic material.
  • Cell culture: the in-vitro growth of cells derived from multicellular organisms.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2000/54/EC

18.9.2000

6.11.2000

OJ L 262 of 17.10.2000

Use of work equipment

Use of work equipment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Use of work equipment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Use of work equipment

To implement minimum practical measures with a view to encouraging an improvement in the health and safety of workers when using work equipment.

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 89/655/EEC of 30 November 1989 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work (second individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [See amending acts].

Summary

Employers’ obligations:

  • to base the choice of work equipment on the specific working conditions and hazards existing for workers in order to eliminate or at least minimise those hazards. Equipment made available to workers for the first time after 31 December 1992 must comply with the minimum requirements laid down in the Annex, in as far as no other Community Directive is applicable or is so only partially; work equipment already made available for use by 31 December 1992 must comply with the minimum requirements no later than four years after that date. Use, maintenance or repair of work equipment involving a specific risk may only be carried out by the workers who have been specifically designated to the task;
  • to provide workers with adequate information and written instructions on work equipment, containing at least adequate safety and health information;
  • to provide the workers using the equipment with adequate training, including training on any risk which such use might entail;
  • to ensure that where the safety of work equipment depends on the installation conditions it will be subject to an initial inspection and inspection after each time it is reassembled;
  • to ensure that the work equipment is subject to periodic inspections and special inspections after any occurrence liable to jeopardise its safety;
  • to take fully into account the work station and position of workers while using work equipment, as well as the ergonomic principles, when applying the minimum safety requirements;
  • to ensure that workers are aware of the potential dangers to which they are exposed in their immediate working environment;
  • to provide for the consultation and participation of workers on matters covered by the Directive.

Amendment of the Annex

The addition of supplementary minimum requirements applicable to specific work equipment shall be adopted by the Council (procedure laid down in Article 138 of the Treaty). Directive 2001/45/EC, for example, introduced minimum requirements with a view to improving the health and safety of persons working at a height (ladders, scaffolding and ropes), thus helping to bring about a significant reduction in the number of falls.
Technical adjustments shall be adopted by the Commission (procedure laid down in Directive 89/391/EEC).

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 89/655/EEC

31.12.1992

Official Journal L 393 of 30.12.1989

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2001/45/EC

19.07.2001

19.06.2004

OJ L195 of 19.7.2001

Directive 95/63/EC

05.12.1995

OJ L 335 of 30.12.1995

Directive 2007/30/EC

28.6.2007

31.12.2007

OJ L 165 of 27.6.2007

Health, hygiene and safety at work

Health, hygiene and safety at work

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Health, hygiene and safety at work

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Health, hygiene and safety at work

Although one of the goals of the European Union is to create employment through the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs, it also tries to ensure that these new jobs are of a higher quality. Health and safety at work is now one of the most important and most advanced areas of EU social policy. Community action in this area is not limited to legislation. The European Institutions carry out several activities providing information and guidance and promoting a safe and healthy working environment in cooperation with the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

  • Health and safety at work – general rules
  • Community strategy on health and safety at work (2007-2012)
  • Community programme for employment and solidarity – PROGRESS (2007-2013)
  • European Progress Microfinance Facility (EPMF)
  • Communication on the practical implementation of directives on health and safety at work
  • European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
  • European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND)
  • Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (ACSHW)
  • Statistics on public health and health and safety at work
  • European schedule of occupational diseases
  • Organisation of working time: basic Directive
  • Community strategy on health and safety at work (2002-2006)

EQUIPMENT, SIGNS AND LOADS

  • Use of work equipment
  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Work with display screen equipment
  • Provision of health and safety signs at work
  • Manual handling of loads involving risk

PROTECTION OF SPECIFIC GROUPS OF WORKERS

  • Self-employed workers: health and safety at work
  • Health and safety for temporary workers
  • Protection of young people at work
  • Protection of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding

THE WORKPLACE

  • Health and safety of workers: conditions applicable to the workplace
  • Temporary and mobile work sites
  • Extractive industries by means of boreholes
  • Extractive industries in the surface and underground
  • Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
  • Reassessing the regulatory social framework for more and better seafaring jobs in the EU
  • Strengthening of maritime labour standards
  • Fishing vessels
  • Improved medical treatment on board vessels

CHEMICAL, PHYSICAL AND BIOLOGICAL AGENTS

  • Protection of workers from exposure to biological agents
  • Protection of workers exposed to asbestos
  • Exposure to electromagnetic fields
  • Exposure to noise
  • Exposure to mechanical vibration
  • Risk of explosive atmospheres
  • Exposure to chemical agents
  • Dangers arising from ionising radiation
  • Exposure to artificial optical radiation
  • Exposure to carcinogens and mutagens
  • European system for registration of carriers of radioactive materials (Proposal)
  • Exposure to biological agents
  • Exposure to asbestos

Use of personal protective equipment

Use of personal protective equipment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Use of personal protective equipment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 89/656/EEC of 30 November 1989 on the minimum health and safety requirements for the use by workers of personal protective equipment at the workplace (third individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [See amending acts].

Summary

Definition of the term “personal protective equipment”: equipment designed to be worn or held by the worker to protect him against hazards encountered at work. A number of items are excluded from the definition, such as equipment used by emergency and rescue services, self-defence or deterrent equipment.

Such equipment must be used when the existing risks cannot be sufficiently limited by technical means of collective protection or work organisation procedures.

Employers’ obligations

Personal protective equipment must comply with the relevant Community provisions on design and manufacture with respect to safety and health (see Directive 89/686/EEC) and with the conditions set out in the Directive. The employer must provide the appropriate equipment free of charge and ensure that it is in good working order and hygienic condition.

Assessment of personal protective equipment

Before choosing personal protective equipment, the employer is required to assess the extent to which it complies with the conditions set out in the Directive. This includes analysis of risks which cannot be avoided by other means and definition and comparison of the requisite characteristics of the equipment.

Rules for use

Member States shall ensure that general rules are established for the use of personal protective equipment and/or covering cases and situations where the employer must provide such equipment. There must be prior consultation with employers’ and workers’ organisations. Annexes to the Directive contain information for establishing such rules: specimen risk survey table (I), non-exhaustive list of items of personal protective equipment (II), non-exhaustive list of activities which may require the provision of personal protective equipment (III).

Information, consultation and participation of workers

Workers shall be informed of all measures to be taken. Consultation and participation shall take place on the matters covered by the Directive.

Technical adjustments in the Annexes shall be adopted by the Commission assisted by a committee (Article 17, Directive 89/391/EEC).

References

Act

Entry into force – Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 89/656/EEC

12.12.89

31.12.92

OJ L 393 of 30.12.89

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2007/30/EC

28.6.2007

31.12.2007

OJ L 165 of 27.6.2007

Related Acts

Commission Communication for the implementation of Council Directive 89/656/EEC, concerning the assessment of the safety aspects of personal protective equipment with a view to the choice and use thereof (Official Journal C 328 of 20.12.1989).

The non-exhaustive supplementary information in the annex covers the criteria to be taken into account in selecting and using the main types of personal protective equipment, and assessment of the risk to be covered and those arising from the equipment and use thereof.

The Commission requests Member States to ensure widespread circulation of the data so that they may serve as reference documents during implementation of Council Directive 89/656/EEC.

The annex lists nine main types of protective equipment: industrial helmets, goggles and visors, ear protectors, respirators, gloves, boots and shoes, protective clothing, lifejackets for industrial use and protection against falls.

Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

Document or Iniciative

European Parliament and Council Directive 94/9/EC of 23 March 1994 on the forthcoming legislation for Member States on protective devices and systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The Directive applies to electrical and non-electrical protective devices and systems (surface and mining equipment) used in potentially explosive atmospheres * and to items of equipment for use outside potentially explosive atmospheres but which impinge upon devices that are present in any such atmospheres.

The Directive does not apply, in particular, to:

  • medical devices,
  • protective devices and systems used on premises where potentially explosive or chemically unstable substances are stored,
  • seagoing ships and mobile offshore units,
  • certain means of transport.

Conformity assessment procedures

Protective devices and systems must meet the essential safety and health requirements. These are divided up into three categories:

  • common requirements concerning protective devices and systems,
  • additional requirements applying to devices which can trigger an explosion,
  • additional requirements for protective systems.

CE conformity marking

The procedures for obtaining the CE conformity marking depend upon the device and level of safety provided. The Directive sets out in detail the procedures to be followed with regard to the various categories of protective devices and systems used in potentially explosive atmospheres. These devices are typified by a protection-level scale which determines the type of procedure to be followed.

Certain procedures for the assessment and checking of protective devices and systems are carried out by a notified body; a list of these is published in the Official Journal of European Union together with their identification numbers and the tasks for which they have been notified. Moreover, procedures ranging from unit verification to internal production control by manufacturers are laid down for well-defined conformity categories.

The CE conformity marking must be affixed to equipment in a visible manner, together with the identification number of the notified body where the latter is involved in the production control stage. Any other marking may be affixed to equipment provided that the visibility and legibility of the CE marking are not thereby reduced.

Equipment and protective systems complying with the Directive and bearing the CE conformity marking are deemed to be able to move freely throughout the European market. However, they may be withdrawn from the market if they adversely affect human or animal health or property.

For a transitional period ending on 30 June 2003, Member States allowed the placing on the market and bringing into service of equipment conforming to the provisions in force on their territory on 23 March 1994.

Key terms of the Act
  • Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres: machines, apparatus, fixed or mobile devices, control components and instrumentation thereof and detection or prevention systems which, separately or jointly, are intended for the generation, transfer, storage, measurement, control and conversion of energy for the processing of material and which are capable of causing an explosion through their own potential sources of ignition.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for implementation in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 94/9/EC

9.5.1994

1.9.1995

OJ L 100 of 19.4.1994

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for implementation in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003

20.11.2003

OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 94/9/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version  is for reference only.

Related Acts

List of titles and references for harmonised standards.

Directive 1992/92/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1999 on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres (15th individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [Official Journal L 23 of 28.1.2000].

This Directive lays down minimum requirements for the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres and in particular, the obligations of the employer.

Guidelines for the application of Directive 94/9/EC.

Manual handling of loads involving risk

Manual handling of loads involving risk

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Manual handling of loads involving risk

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Manual handling of loads involving risk

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 90/269/EEC of 29 May 1990 on the minimum health and safety requirements for the manual handling of loads where there is a risk particularly of back injury to workers (fourth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [See amending acts].

Summary

Definition of the term “manual handling of loads”: any transporting or supporting of a load which, by reason of its characteristics or of unfavourable ergonomic conditions, involves a risk to workers.

In applying this Directive, employers must:

  • use the appropriate means to avoid the need for manual handling of loads by workers, or, where this cannot be avoided, to take the appropriate organisational measures to reduce the risk involved, having regard to Annex I;
  • ensure that workers receive adequate information on the weight of a load and the centre of gravity or the heaviest side when a package is eccentrically loaded, and to ensure proper training and precise information on how to handle loads correctly, and the risks involved in incorrect handling, having regard to Annexes I and II;
  • guarantee that consultation and participation of workers takes place in accordance with the framework Directive on matters covered by this Directive.

The Annexes contain reference information on the characteristics of the load and the working environment, the physical effort required, the requirements of the activity and the individual risk factors. Technical alterations shall be adopted by the Commission assisted by a committee (Article 17, Directive 89/391/EEC).

The Directive includes provisions for publishing:

  • a rapport from the Member States every four years on the practical implementation of the Directive, indicating the views of social parteners;
  • a periodic report from the Commission.

References

Act

Entry into force – Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 90/269/EEC

12.6.90

31.12.92

OJ L 156 of 21.6.90

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2007/30/EC

28.6.2007

31.12.2012

OJ L 165 of 27.6.2007

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions on the practical implementation of the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Directives 89/391 (Framework), 89/654 (Workplaces), 89/655 (Work Equipment), 89/656 (Personal Protective Equipment), 90/269 (Manual Handling of Loads) and 90/270 (Display Screen Equipment) [COMM(2004) 62 – Not published in the Official Journal]

Work with display screen equipment

Work with display screen equipment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Work with display screen equipment

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Work with display screen equipment

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 90/270/EEC of 29 May 1990 on the minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment (fifth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [Official Journal L 156 of 21.6.1990] [See amending act(s)].

Summary

European legislation protects the safety and health of workers using display screen equipment *.

This Directive contains individual provisions intended to supplement the general provisions of Directive 89/391/EEC concerning health and safety at work.

However, this Directive does not apply to:

  • workstations * and computer systems on board a means of transport;
  • computer systems mainly intended for public use;
  • portable systems, except in prolonged use at a workstation;
  • equipment having a small display (calculators, cash registers, etc.);
  • traditional typewriters.

Employers’ obligations

In order to ensure the safety and health of workers, employers are obliged to:

  • perform an evaluation of workstations, and bring them into line with the requirements of the Directive (Annex),
  • inform, consult and train workers with regard to all measures connected with their health and safety.

In addition, the daily activities of workers using display screen equipment must be interrupted by breaks or changes of activity.

In addition, workers must undergo an eye and eyesight test before commencing their display screen work, and then at regular intervals during their activities and if visual difficulties develop. If necessary, workers must be provided with special corrective appliances, without charge.

Key terms
  • Display screen equipment: an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process employed.
  • Workstation: refers to the work surface, display screen equipment, additional equipment and accessories (keyboard, telephone, printer, etc.).

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 90/270/EEC

11.6.1990

31.12.1992

OJ L 156 of 21.6.1990

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2007/30/EC

28.6.2007

31.12.2012

OJ L 165 of 27.6.2007

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the practical implementation of the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Directives 89/391/EEC (framework), 89/654/EEC (workplaces), 89/655/EEC (work equipment), 89/656/EEC (personal protective equipment), 90/269/EEC (manual handling of loads) and 90/270/EEC (display screen equipment) [COM(2004) 62 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Provision of health and safety signs at work

Provision of health and safety signs at work

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Provision of health and safety signs at work

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Provision of health and safety signs at work

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 92/58/EEC of 24 June 1992 on the minimum requirements for the provision of health and/or safety signs at work (ninth individual Directive within the meaning of Directive 89/391/EEC) [Official Journal L 245 of 26.8.92].

Summary

Directive 92/58/EEC lays down minimum requirements concerning health and safety signs at work *. For example, they relate to: location and identification of containers and pipes, fire-fighting equipment, certain traffic routes, illuminated and acoustic signs, as well as the introduction of appropriate verbal communications * and hand signals *.

This Directive complements the Framework Directive 89/391/EEC on health and safety at work.

The Directive does not apply to signs for the placing on the market of dangerous substances and preparations, products and/or equipment, nor to signs used for regulating road, rail, inland waterway, and sea or air traffic.

Employers’ obligations

Employers must provide safety signs where hazards cannot be avoided or adequately reduced by preventive measures or procedures used in the organisation of work.

Wherever appropriate, signs used for road, rail, inland waterway, sea and air transport can be installed inside companies or undertakings.

Supplementary information

Member States may specify certain exemptions within certain precise limits.

Workers must be informed of the measures to be taken and must be given appropriate training (precise instructions).

Workers must be consulted and allowed to participate on the matters covered by the Directive.

Technical adaptations to the Annexes will be adopted by the Commission, assisted by a committee (Article 17 of Directive 89/391/EEC).

Member States are required to report to the Commission every five years on the practical implementation of the Directive. The Commission is required to report periodically to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee on the implementation of the Directive.

Context

The Directive repeals Directive 77/576/EC on safety signs in the work place.

Key terms of the Act
  • Safety and health signs: information or instructions about safety and/or health at work by means of a signboard, a colour, an illuminated sign or acoustic or hand signal, or a verbal communication;
  • Verbal communication: a predetermined spoken message communicated by a human or artificial voice;
  • Hand signal: a movement or position of the arms or hands for guiding persons who are carrying out manoeuvres which constitute a hazard or danger.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 92/58/EEC

22.7.1992

24.6.1994

OJ L 245 of 26.8.1992

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2007/30/EC

28.6.2007

31.12.2012

OJ L 165 of 27.6.2007

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the practical implementation of Health and Safety at Work Directives 92/57/EEC (temporary and mobile sites) and 92/58/EEC (safety signs at work) [COM(2008) 698 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission presents a positive report on the implementation of Directive 92/58/EEC. In fact, the majority of the 15 European Union Member States have completed their legislation through the new rules and requirements provided for in this Directive.
Implementation of the Directive has enabled the national systems of workplace safety signs to be streamlined. However, the Commission states that workers are still badly informed about the rules on signs and the Commission encourages companies to strengthen their training activities.

Extractive industries by means of boreholes

Extractive industries by means of boreholes

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Extractive industries by means of boreholes

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Extractive industries by means of boreholes

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 92/91/EEC of 3 November 1992 concerning minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers in the extractive industries (boreholes) (11th individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [See amending acts].

Summary

This Directive lays down the minimum requirements for protecting the health and safety of workers in extractive industries by means of boreholes *.

General obligations of the employer:

In applying this Directive, employers are required to:

  • apply safety considerations to workplaces right from the design stage;
  • ensure that there is a supervisor in charge;
  • entrust work involving a special risk only to suitably qualified staff;
  • ensure that safety instructions are comprehensible to all the workers concerned;
  • provide first aid facilities and run safety exercises at regular intervals.

Before the commencement of work, the employer must satisfy himself that a document on safety and health is prepared and brought up to date (in accordance with Articles 6, 9 and 10 of Directive 89/391/EEC). This document must show, in particular, that the risks run by workers at the workplace have been determined and assessed, that appropriate measures have been taken and that the workplace is designed, operated and maintained in line with safety requirements.

Where workers from more than one firm are present at the same workplace, the employer responsible for the workplace must coordinate the health and safety measures applying to these workers and set them out in the document.

This coordination does not affect the liability of individual employers.

The employer must immediately report fatal and serious occupational accidents and dangerous occurrences.

In terms of protection against fire, explosions and health-endangering atmospheres, employers must take preventive measures appropriate to the nature of the operation in order to:

  • avoid, detect and combat the starting and spread of fires and explosions;
  • prevent the occurrence of explosive and/or health-endangering atmospheres.

Employers shall provide and maintain appropriate means of escape and rescue in order to ensure that workers have adequate opportunities for leaving the workplaces promptly and safely in the event of danger.

Employers shall take the requisite measures to provide the necessary warning and other communication systems to enable assistance, escape and rescue operations to be launched immediately if the need arises.

Furthermore, they must inform workers of all measures to be taken concerning safety and health at the workplace.

Every worker must receive or be subject to a health surveillance before they are assigned to duties related to the activities referred to in the Directive and at regular intervals thereafter.

Employers must ensure consultation and participation of workers on the matters covered by the Directive.

Lastly, workplaces used for exploration for and extraction of minerals by means of boreholes must satisfy the minimum health and safety requirements (listed in the Annex).

When workplaces undergo changes, extensions and/or conversions after the date on which this Directive is brought into effect, the employer shall take the measures necessary to ensure that they are in compliance with the minimum requirements laid down in the Annex.

Key terms of the Act
  • Extractive industries (boreholes): all industries engaged in prospecting and extraction activities and in the preparation of extracted materials for sale but not the processing of such extracted materials.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 92/91/EEC

11.11.1992

3.11.1994

OJ L 348 of 28.11.1992

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2007/30/EC

28.6.2007

31.12.2012

OJ L 165 of 27.6.2007

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 92/91/EEC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.