Council Resolution of 21 December 1987 on safety, hygiene and health at work
OJ C 28, 3.2.1988, p. 1–2 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT)
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COUNCIL RESOLUTION of 21 December 1987 on safety, hygiene and health at work (88/C 28/01)
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES, Whereas Article 118A of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community sets the objective of harmonizing conditions, especially in the working environment, for protecting the health and safety of workers, while maintaining the improvements made;
Whereas, to this end, Article 118A stipulates that the Council, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission, in cooperation with the European Parliament and after consulting the Economic and Social Committee, shall adopt, by means of directives, minimum requirements for gradual implementation, having regard to the conditions and technical rules obtaining in each of the Member States;
whereas such directives shall avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back the creation and development of small and medium-sized undertakings;
Whereas Article 118A will enable action at Community level as regards the improvement of the working environment to be intensified and expanded in order to protect the safety and health of workers;
Whereas the development of growth and the improvement of productivity at the level of both undertakings and the Community's economy depend inter alia on the quality of the working environment, the possibilities for workers to have an influence on the working environment in order to protect their safety and health and the motivation of workers;
Whereas Article 118A provides in particular for the improvement of safety and health conditions at work, which constitutes an essential feature of the social dimension of the internal market, HAS ADOPTED THIS RESOLUTION:
I The Council:
1. welcomes the Commission communication on its programme concerning safety, hygiene and health at work;
2. considers that this communication constitutes a useful framework for commencing implementation at Community level of Article 118A:
3. shares the Commission's opinion that the protection of the safety and health of workers must also include measures concerning ergonomics in connection with safety and health at work;
4. stresses the need:
- to place equal emphasis on achieving the economic and social objectives of the completion of the internal market,
- to coordinate Community and national measures concerning the achievement of these two objectives, notes in this context that the Commission has stated that it will take into account the social aspects of the proposals which it will submit with a view to the completion of the internal market.
II 1. The Council takes note of the measures contemplated by the Commission in its communication on safety, hygiene and health at work and to this end:
(a) suggests that the Commission draw up practical plans of work, preferably on an annual basis, in close cooperation with the Member States and after consulting the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work;
(b) takes note of the Commission's intention of submitting to it in the near future:
(i) minimum requirements at Community level concerning:
- the organization of the safety and health of workers at work including protection against risks resulting from the carrying of heavy loads by hand,
- protection against risks resulting from dangerous substances, including carcinogenic substances;
in this connection, the principle of substitution using a recognized non-dangerous or less dangerous substance should be taken as a basis, -the arrangement of the place of work;
(ii) other activities:
- harmonization of statistics on accidents at work and occupational diseases, -a study on the organization by the Member States of means of control and of sanctions;
(c) also notes that the Commission intends to submit before 1992 a series of measures included in its programme on safety, hygiene and health at work.
2. The Council considers that when drawing up the plans of work, account should be taken of the following criteria in particular:
- the seriousness of the risks of accidents at work and/or occupational diseases,
- the number of workers exposed to risks,
- the possibilities for prevention.
3. The Council directives should lay stress on the enactment of the main provisions for the elimination of risks for workers at the place of work.
4. The Member States undertake to make available to the Commission the knowledge and experience available in the Member States inter alia to enable the Commission to improve the statements as regards the impact of its proposals on small and medium-sized undertakings.
To this end, the Commission is asked to maintain close contacts with national experts.
5. The social partners will be involved in the preparation of the directives, particularly the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work.
The social partners will also be involved, in accordance with national laws and practices, in:
- the implementation of the Council directives at national level,-conceiving and implementing Member States' policies concerning the field covered by Article 118A,-the organization of the working environment in undertakings to protect the safety and health of workers and the implementation of the corresponding arrangements for the protection of workers.
6. The Council stresses that the information, increased awareness and, if necessary, the training of employers and workers will play a fundamental role in the success of the measures recommended in the Commission's communication on its programme on safety, hygiene and health at work.
7. In order to assist and expedite the implementation of the safety and health measures, the Member States will examine the possibility of measures in favour of undertakings in order to prompt the latter to implement preventive measures.
8. The Commission is requested to examine how the exchange of information and experience in the field covered by this resolution can be improved, particularly as regards the gathering and dissemination of data.
At the same time, the Commission is invited to examine the advisability of setting up Community machinery to study the repercussions at national level of Community measures in the field of health and safety at work.
Cooperation with and between bodies with tasks in the field covered by this resolution should be intensified.
9. The Council:
-acknowledges the predominant role of the heightening of public awareness for the success of the measures recommended in the Commission's communication on its programme on safety, hygiene and health at work,-agrees to suggest that a European year in this field be organized in 1992.