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Setting up of an Advisory Committee

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Setting up of an Advisory Committee


To entrust a standing body with the tasks of assisting the Commission in the preparation and implementation of activities in these fields and facilitating cooperation between national administrations, trade unions and employers' organisations.


Council Decision 74/325/EEC of 27 June 1974 on the setting up of an Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work.

This decision has been repealed by Council Decision 2003/C 218/01 of 22 July 2003 setting up an Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work .


The Committee's remit covers all sectors of the economy (except the extractive industries) and the protection of workers' health against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation.

The Committee produces an annual report on its activities.

It consists of 90 full members, i.e. two government representatives, two trade union representatives and two representatives of employers per Member State, appointed by the Council for a period of three years (renewable).

The Committee is chaired by a Member of the Commission.

Opinions of the Committee are delivered by an absolute majority of the votes validly cast and must state the reasons on which they are based.

4) deadline for implementation of the legislation in the member states

5) date of entry into force (if different from the above)


6) references

Official Journal L 185, 09.07.1974

7) follow-up work

19th annual activity report (1994) (COM(95) 597 final).

20th annual activity report (1995) [COM(96) 458 final, not yet published in the Official Journal]

21st annual activity report (1996) [COM(97) 728 final, not published in the Official Journal]

The Committee met on two occasions in 1996, in Luxembourg in May and in Dublin in November. It adopted eleven opinions, concerned primarily with the schedule of occupational diseases, exposure to asbestos, limit values for exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents, and work-related stress.

The Committee's activities in 1996 were in line with the Community programme in the field of safety, hygiene and health at work (1996-2000). Working groups with suitable terms of reference were set up in specialised areas on which the Committee wished to give an opinion: Standardisation, Stress at Work, Occupational Exposure Levels, Scaffolding and Pregnant Women at Work.

In addition, seven working groups were disbanded, either because their remit had been completed or because their work could no longer be given priority in the light of the available resources: these covered, inter alia, work-related stress, audiovisual aids, research and senior labour inspectors.

The Committee continued to collaborate with other organisations at European and international level, including the social partners (UNICE and ETUC), the Trade Union Technical Bureau and the ILO.

Finally, the Committee was consulted on the work programme of the Bilbao-based European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and received a copy of its annual report.

22nd annual activity report (1997) [COM(98) 522 final, not published in the Official Journal]

In 1997 the Committee met in Luxembourg on two occasions. Three working groups were set up: Prevention of Violence at Work, Machinery, and Health and Safety Management Systems. Three other groups were disbanded as their work had been completed: Pregnant Women, Biological Agents and Carcinogens.

The Committee assisted the Commission with the preparation of draft guidelines on assessment of the risks to the safety and health of pregnant workers and those who have recently given birth or are breast-feeding, and began to consider the draft document setting out the Commission's priorities in the field of safety and health at work for the period 1998-2000.

Thirteen opinions were adopted by the Committee, relating mainly to:

  • risks related to exposure to biological agents and carcinogens at work;
  • indicative limit values for exposure to chemical agents at work;
  • application of legislation on health and safety at work to self-employed workers;
  • the European Week on Safety and Health at Work;
  • minimum requirements for work with display screen equipment;
  • the 1998 work programme of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

The Committee also revised its rules of procedure and adopted its work programmes for 1997 and 1998.

23rd annual activity report (1998) [COM(2000) 132 final, not published in the Official Journal]

In 1998 the Committee met on two occasions in Luxembourg. Three ad hoc groups were disbanded (Scaffolding, Training, and Economic and Social Appraisal of Health and Safety Legislation), as their work had come to an end. Ten new groups were set up.

The Committee adopted the annual report for 1997, together with five opinions on:

  • harmonised standards on waste water engineering products,
  • mid-term report on the Community programme concerning safety, hygiene and health at work,
  • recommendations on training in the field of health and safety at work,
  • Commission's proposal for methodology for the economic and social appraisal of safety and health legislation in force,
  • draft work programme for the Bilbao Agency for 1999.

According to the report, the Advisory Committee does not want to consider the subjects of disability and early retirement, as other agencies may be more competent to deal with them. It believes that its work should focus more on the issues surrounding adaptability (i.e. changing work to fit the worker) and prevention.

8) commission implementing measures