Asbestos is deadly serious! Prevent exposure !
Asbestos is deadly serious! Prevent exposure !
- Asbestos campaign 2006
- News item
- Dresden declaration against Asbestos
- ILO resolution (June 2006)
- Program table of the Member State
- Asbestos guide (in 20 different languages):
- Annex A to the guide (multilingual document)
- Asbestos guide for target groups:
Council Directive 83/477/EEC of 19 September 1983 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work, (second individual Directive within the meaning of Article 8 of Council Directive 80/1107/EEC) References: Official Journal n° L 263 of 24.09.1983 p. 25.
The aim of this Directive is the protection of workers against risks to their health, including the prevention of such risks, arising or likely to arise from exposure to asbestos at work. It lays down limit values and other specific requirements.
- The directives do not apply to sea or air transport.
- 'Asbestos' is taken to mean six specified fibrous silicates. The limit values pertaining to in-air concentrations are: for chrysotile: 0.60 fibres per cm3 for an eight-hour reference period; for all other forms of asbestos: 0.30 fibres per cm3 for an eight-hour reference period.
- Any activity likely to entail a risk of exposure to dust arising from asbestos or materials containing asbestos must be assessed in such a way as to determine the degree and nature of the workers' exposure.
- These activities are to be notified by the employer to the responsible authority of the Member State. The notification must include at least a description of the types and quantities of asbestos used, the activities and processes involved, and the products manufactured. Workers or their representatives are entitled to see the documents concerned.
- The application of asbestos by means of the spraying process and working procedures that involve the use of low-density (less than 1 g/cm3) insulating or soundproofing materials are prohibited.
- Exposure to asbestos is reduced by limiting its use as far as possible, keeping to a minimum the number of persons exposed, and taking adequate measures to maintain buildings and ensure that materials are properly stored, transported and labelled.
- In order to ensure compliance with the limit values, asbestos-in-air concentrations are to be measured regularly. If these values are exceeded, the reasons must be identified and appropriate measures to remedy the situation must be taken before work is resumed.
- The places in which activities giving rise to exposure risks are carried out must be clearly delimited and indicated by warning signs. They shall be out of bounds to smokers and unauthorised workers. Areas are to be set aside where workers can eat and drink without risking contamination by asbestos dust. Workers are to be provided with appropriate working or protective clothing.
- Workers and/or their representatives must receive adequate information on health risks, the existence of limit values and the need for monitoring of the atmosphere, hygiene requirements and specific precautions to be taken.
- Each worker's state of health must be assessed prior to exposure and subsequently at least once every three years for the duration of the exposure. The employer is required to keep a register indicating the nature and duration of the activity and the exposure to which the worker is subjected; both the worker concerned and doctors must have access to the information in the register.
- A plan of work setting out the necessary health and safety measures is to be drawn up before the commencement of any demolition work or work involving removal of asbestos.
- Member States must keep a register of cases of asbestosis and mesothelioma.
- If assessment of the exposure risks shows that the asbestos-in-air concentration is, for chrysotile, lower than 0.20 fibres per cm3 for an eight-hour reference period or lower than a cumulative dose of 12.00 fibres over a three month period and, for all other forms of asbestos, lower than 0.10 fibres per cm3 for an eight-hour reference period or lower than a cumulative dose of 6.00 fibres over a three-month period, the employer will not be required to notify the authority, take atmospheric measurements, put up warning signs, carry out health assessment or inform workers.
The Directive has been amended by the following directives:
Council Directive 91/382/EEC of 25 June 1991 amending Directive 83/477/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work (second individual Directive within the meaning of Article 8 of Directive 80/1107/EC), OJ n° L 206 of 29.07.1991, p. 16.
- Council Directive 98/24/EC of 7 April 1998 on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work (fourteenth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (OJ L 262, 27.9.1976, p. 201.) of Directive 89/391/EEC), OJ L 131, 05.05.1998 p. 0011-0023.
- Directive 2003/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 March 2003 amending Council Directive 83/477/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work (Text with EEA relevance) OJ L 097, 15.04.2003 P. 0048-0052.
- Reduces the worker's exposure limit value for asbestos. Instead of the two limit values established by directive 83/477, one unique limit value is fixed: 0.1 fibres per cm3, in air, as an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA);
- Cancels the existing exceptions for sea and air transport;
- Prohibits activities which expose workers to asbestos fibres, with the exception of the treatment and disposal of products resulting from demolition and asbestos removal;
- Updates the practical recommendations for the health surveillance of the exposed workers, in the light of the most recent medical knowledge, with a view to an early detection of the pathologies connected with the exposure to asbestos.
Links with other Community legislation
Council Directive 76/769/EEC of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (OJ L 262, 27.9.1976, p. 201.) (Directive as last amended by Commission Directive 2001/91/EC) (OJ L 286, 30।10.2001, p. 27) .