EESC opinion: Protection of workers – asbestos

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EESC opinion: Protection of workers – asbestos

Key points

The Committee has three reservations.

  • First, it regrets the fact that several of the recitals appearing in previous directives are not included in the codification. In some cases, these omissions represent more than purely editorial changes. They affect fundamental aspects which the EU legislator has judged important to draw to attention to.
  • Next, the Committee believes that the present proposal should be submitted for consultation to the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work in accordance with Council Decision 2003/C 218/01 of 22 July 2003. This consultation should be mentioned in the recitals of the directive in accordance with the practice applied hitherto.
  • Finally, the Committee recalls its opinion of 4 March 1999 and, in particular, reiterates its wish that the Member States ratify ILO Convention 162 on Safety in the use of asbestos. To date, only ten of the 27 Member States have ratified it. Ratification by all EU Member States would contribute to the reputation of the ILO Convention as a major instrument for worldwide protection of workers' safety and health.

Finally, the Committee essentially supports the proposal, but calls on the Commission to take account of the three reservations raised and to amend the text of the recitals accordingly. It hopes to see the swift approval of the proposal by the European Parliament and the Council.