Protection from exposure to asbestos at work

EESC opinion: Protection from exposure to asbestos at work

Key points


  • welcomes the Commission's ambition to reduce the incidence of cancer, and its specific efforts to minimise exposure to asbestos at work;
  • recommends that the technical limit value for asbestos exposure under the Directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work should ultimately be set at a lower level than the Commission is currently proposing;
  • suggests that a roadmap of complementary measures over and above the Commission's proposals should be drawn up in order to achieve that objective. The roadmap should include financial support for businesses and regions that need it in order to meet the targets;
  • proposes a broad public information campaign on asbestos and its deadly risks. There is also a need for training for all workers at risk of exposure to asbestos, provided in the worker's native language or another language in which they are proficient;
  • recommends that all workers suspected of being at risk of asbestos exposure should undergo checks, and that a log/passport documenting asbestos exposure should accompany workers when they change their place of work, in order to monitor workers' health;
  • draws particular attention to ILO Convention No 162 and the Rotterdam Convention. In the context of their discussion and implementation, the EU and its Member States should play an active and leading role in promoting better developments in all countries of the world and in international trade chains;
  • calls on the EU and its Member States to actively promote an international ban on the use of asbestos and protection for workers dealing with existing asbestos during activities such as renovation, demolition and waste management.