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Document 62003CJ0168

Summary of the Judgment

Judgment of the Court (Second Chamber) of 14 September 2004.
Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Spain.
Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations - Directives 89/655/EEC and 95/63/EC - Incomplete transposition - Additional adjustment period.
Case C-168/03.

Keywords
Summary

Keywords

Social policy – Protection of the safety and health of workers – Directive 89/655 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work – Compliance with the minimum requirements – Work equipment in use – Grant of an additional adjustment period – Conditions

(Council Directive 89/655, as amended by Art. 4(1)(b) of Directive 95/63, and Annex I, point 1, para. (2))

Summary

The second paragraph of point 1 of Annex I to Directive 89/655 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work, as amended by Directive 95/63, according to which the minimum requirements laid down in that directive, inasmuch as they apply to work equipment in use, do not necessarily call for the same measures as the essential requirements concerning new work equipment, must be understood as meaning that it also amends to some extent the scope of Article 4(1)(b) of Directive 89/655 in its original version, which obliges the employer to obtain and/or use work equipment which, if already provided to workers in the undertaking and/or establishment by 31 December 1992, complies with the minimum requirements laid down in the Annex to the directive no later than four years after that date.

Thus, the concession in relation to work equipment in use after 31 December 1996 must be understood in the light of the minimum requirements laid down in Annex I to Directive 89/655, as amended, which, according to the second paragraph of point 1 thereof, continue to apply to that equipment. Inasmuch as the lastmentioned provision states that, as regards such equipment, the minimum requirements do not necessarily call for the same measures as the essential requirements concerning new work equipment, it must be interpreted as increasing the opportunities for choice in the field of technical solutions if the measures taken are capable of securing the protection which those provisions are intended to achieve.

The transposition of Directive 89/655, as amended, is not carried out with the necessary clarity and precision by national provisions which make no reference to the rules contained in Annex I to the directive and which, for that reason, grant an additional adjustment period for work equipment already provided to workers in the undertaking and/or establishment before 27 August 1997.

(see paras 33-38)

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