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EU Legislation. How is it derived

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1 EU Legislation. How is it derived
EU Legislation. How is it derived? How has it influenced Safety at Work in the EU member states? by Vassilis Zafrakopoulos Safety at Work Inspector JRC Ispra Site European Commission

2 Contents of this info meeting
1. The EU Treaties 2. How EU Legislation is created 3. Some main directives of the EU towards Safety at Work

3 Treaty of Lisbon Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2010). Consolidated versions of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.

4 The European Commission
manages and runs the European Union. Its members are appointed for a five-year term by agreement between the member states, subject to approval by the European Parliament. The Commission is answerable to the Parliament, and the entire Commission has to resign if the Parliament passes a motion of censure against it. Since 2004, the Commission has been made up of one Commissioner from each member state. The Commission enjoys a substantial degree of independence in exercising its powers. Its job is to uphold the common interest, which means that it must not take instructions from any national EU government. As ‘Guardian of the Treaties’, it has to ensure that the regulations and directives adopted by the Council and Parliament are being implemented in the member states. If they are not, the Commission can take the offending party to the Court of Justice to oblige it to comply with EU law. As the EU’s executive arm, the Commission implements the decisions taken by the Council in areas such as the common agricultural policy. It has wide powers to manage the EU’s common policies, such as research and technology, overseas aid, regional development, etc.

5 Innovation and safety policies, an example
Nanobiotechnology, nano-safety and risk assessment Nanofabrication process of a polymer prepared with colloidal lithography in order to produce a sensor for the study of protein interaction© EC (2009) An important objective of the JRC research is to reduce the knowledge gaps related to nanotechnology impacts on human health and the environment. The research targets improved risk assessment and management, but also the study of innovative possibilities of nanotechnology. The JRC houses extensive expertise and laboratory equipments for studies of, for example, the interaction of nanomaterials with living organisms in order to obtain a better understanding of potential risks to health and the environment. The NANOhub is a comprehensive IT platform dedicated to the management of safety/risk assessment information on nanomaterials.

6 Nanofabrication process of a polymer prepared with colloidal lithography in order to produce a sensor for the study of protein interaction


8 2. How the EU legislation is created

9 Regulations, Directives and other acts
The aims set out in the EU treaties are achieved by several types of legal act. Some are binding, others are not. Some apply to all EU countries, others to just a few. Regulations A "regulation" is a binding legislative act. It must be applied in its entirety across the EU. For example, when the EU wanted to protect the names of agricultural products coming from certain areas such as Parma ham, the Council adopted a regulation. Directives A "directive" is a legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU countries must achieve. However, it is up to the individual countries to decide how. This was the case with the working time directive, which stipulates that too much overtime work is illegal. The directive sets out minimum rest periods and a maximum number of working hours, but it is up to each country to devise its own laws on how to implement this. Decisions A "decision" is binding on those to whom it is addressed (e.g. an EU country or an individual company) and is directly applicable. For example, when the Commission issued a decision fining software giant Microsoft for abusing its dominant market position , the decision applied to Microsoft only.

10 Legal basis Directive 89/391/EEC on measures to improve safety and health at work: encourages improvements in occupational health and safety in all sectors of activity, both public and private. promotes workers' rights to make proposals relating to health and safety, to appeal to the competent authority and to stop work in the event of serious danger. seeks to adequately protect workers and ensure that they return home in good health at the end of the working day.

11 3. EU legislation on safety at work

12 89/391/EEC In addition, activities of first aid, fire-fighting and the evacuation of workers in serious and immediate danger must be adapted to the nature of the activities and to the size of the company. The employer must inform and train those workers who could be exposed to serious and immediate danger. The employer shall establish a protection and prevention service , including first aid and emergency teams. The employer shall therefore appoint one or several trained workers to ensure that the measures are followed or assure external assistance. Monitoring the health of workers is ensured by the measures fixed in accordance with national legislation and practice. Each worker may request a health control at regular intervals. Groups of people at risk or particularly sensitive people should be protected against dangers which could affect them specifically.

13 Directive 2009/104/EC – use of work equipment
Employers’ obligations The employer shall take every measure to ensure the safety of the work equipment made available to workers. During the selection of the work equipment the employer shall pay attention to the specific working conditions which exist at the workplace, especially in relation of safety and health of the workers. If risks cannot be fully eliminated during the operation of the work equipment, the employer shall take appropriate measures to minimise them. Furthermore, the work equipment should comply with relevant Community directives and/or the minimum requirements laid down in Annex I. Throughout its working life, the employer shall keep the work equipment compliant by means of adequate maintenance. The employer shall ensure that the work equipment is installed correctly and is operating properly by inspection/testing of the work equipment (initial, after assembly, periodic and special) by competent persons. The results of inspections shall be recorded and kept. If the use of work equipment is likely to involve a specific risk the employer shall ensure restricted access to its use, and allows of any modification by expert personnel only. Ergonomics and occupational health aspects shall be taken fully into account by the employer. The employer shall provide workers with adequate, comprehensible information (e.g. written instructions) on the work equipment, detailing: the conditions of use, foreseeable abnormal situations, any additional conclusion drawn from experience. Workers shall be made aware of dangers relevant to them. The employer shall ensure that workers receive adequate training, including risks and specific training on specific-risk equipment

14 Directive 89/654/EEC - workplace requirements

15 Directive 2006/95/EC - electrical equipment
Contents This Directive does not apply to electrical equipment intended for export to third countries. Member States must take all appropriate measures to ensure that electrical equipment may be placed on the market only if it does not endanger the safety of people, domestic animals or property when properly installed and maintained and used in applications for which it was made. Where equipment meets the required standards, Member States may not impede free movement within the Community for reasons of safety. Member States must ensure that stricter requirements than specified in this Directive are not imposed by electricity supply bodies for connection to the grid.

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