Tag Archives: Health and safety at work

Working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector

Working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector

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 > Social dialogue and employee participation

Working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2005/47/EC of 18 July 2005 on the Agreement between the Community of European Railways (CER) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) on certain aspects of the working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector [Official Journal L 195 of 27.07.2005].

Summary

The aim of the Directive is to give effect to the Agreement on certain aspects of the working conditions of mobile workers assigned to interoperable cross-border services concluded between the social partners in the railways sector, namely the Community of European Railways (CER) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).

The Agreement strikes a balance between the need to ensure adequate protection of the health and safety of mobile workers in interoperable cross-border services and the need for flexibility in running rail transport enterprises in an integrated European railway network.

The Agreement grants workers a daily rest period of 12 consecutive hours and breaks of between 30 and 45 minutes. It limits daily driving time to 9 hours on a day shift and 8 hours on a night shift.

The Agreement also gives employers greater flexibility because, under exceptional circumstances, they can shorten the daily rest periods to 9 hours instead of to 11 as provided for in the Working Hours Directive.

The Member States may keep or introduce more favourable provisions than those laid down in this Directive. Furthermore, this Directive may not be used to justify a lower level of protection for workers where better protection is afforded under existing national legislation.

Background

This Directive is part of the overall framework for interoperability in the European rail system. A better-integrated rail network will enable the European Union to cut down on road transport and reduce its harmful side-effects. Involving social partners will ensure satisfactory working conditions for workers in interoperable rail services.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2005/47/EC

18.7.2005

27.7.2008

OJ L 195 of 27.7.2005

Related Acts

Communication of 15 December 2008 from the Commission to the Council – Economic and social impact of the Agreement appended to Directive 2005/47/EC concluded on 27 January 2004 between the social partners on certain aspects of the working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector [COM(2008) 855 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Following the adoption of Directive 2005/47/EC, the Commission presents a socio-economic analysis of the development of working conditions in the railway sector. Developing cross-border links have a positive economic impact, and employment in the railway sector should increase in the coming years. Favourable social conditions should be guaranteed for mobile workers, while taking account of the needs of railway undertakings.

The Commission favours an integrated approach to ensure that working time is organised in accordance with the obligation to protect the health and safety of workers. Member States should also guarantee a balance between work and family life, especially by reaching a consensus with the social partners on the question of rest days at home.

Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time [Official Journal L 299 of 18.11.2003].
This Directive lays down the minimum general obligations in terms of health and safety at work.

Communication of 26 June 2002 from the Commission “The European social dialogue, a force for innovation and change” [

COM(2002) 341 final

– Not published in the Official Journal].
The social dialogue at Community level is an essential element of the adoption of the social and economic reforms. It is part of the reinforcement of good governance and the transparency of the European decision-making process.

Protection of workers exposed to asbestos

Protection of workers exposed to asbestos

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of workers exposed to asbestos

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 exposed to asbestos

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/148/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work (codified version) (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

The exposure of workers to asbestos dust or materials containing asbestos poses risks to their health. This Directive establishes protective and preventive rules intended to limit these risks.

The term asbestos applies to the following substances: asbestos actinolite, asbestos grunerite, asbestos anthophyllite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and asbestos tremolite.

Exposure to asbestos

This Directive prohibits:

  • the application of asbestos by means of the spraying process and all activities that involve using low-density (less than 1 g/cm3) insulating or soundproofing materials;
  • the extraction, manufacture and processing of asbestos, including products containing asbestos.

However, the processing and disposal of products resulting from demolition and asbestos removal shall be permitted. The exposure of workers must be reduced to a minimum, with regard to:

  • the number of workers;
  • work processes, which must not produce dust, especially in the air;
  • premises and equipment, which must be cleaned and maintained regularly;
  • storage and transport, in suitable sealed packing;
  • the collection of waste, which must be removed quickly, labelled and processed in accordance with Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste.

Limit values for exposure to asbestos

Employers shall ensure that no worker is exposed to an airborne concentration of asbestos in excess of 0.1 fibres per cm³ as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA).

Risk assessment

A risk assessment must be carried out before beginning an activity involving exposure to asbestos dust or to materials containing asbestos. This assessment shall be based on representative sampling of the worker’s personal exposure.

The measuring of asbestos in the air shall take account only of fibres with:

  • a length of more than 5 micrometres and a breadth of less than 3 micrometres;
  • a length/breadth ratio greater than 3:1.

Working procedure

Before the start of the work, the employer must inform its national authorities of:

  • the location of the worksite,
  • the type and quantity of asbestos,
  • the activities and processes involved,
  • the number of workers,
  • the duration of the work,
  • measures taken to limit exposure.

The place where the work is carried out must be accessible only to workers – it must be demarcated and signed. In addition, it must be a no smoking area.

Demolition or asbestos removal work shall take place according to a pre-established plan aimed at guaranteeing the removal of asbestos before demolition techniques are applied, and at reducing the risks to a minimum.

Workers shall receive training particularly as regards the properties of asbestos and its effects on health, and as regards emergency, decontamination and medical surveillance procedures.

Assessment of the state of health

Each worker’s state of health must be assessed before exposure to asbestos. In addition, an individual health record must be established in order to provide for protective or preventive measures. Medical surveillance may continue after the end of the work.

Every European Union country shall keep a register of recognised cases of diseases related to asbestos (for example, asbestosis and mesothelioma).

Context

This Directive repeals Directive 83/477/EEC with a view to clarifying its provisions.

References

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

Directive 2009/148/EC

5.1.2010

OL L 330 of 16.12.2009