51996AP0103

Legislative resolution embodying Parliament's opinion on the proposal for a Council Directive amending for the first time Directive 90/394/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens at work (COM(95)0425 - C4-0433/95 - 95/0229(SYN)) (Cooperation procedure: first reading)

Official Journal C 198 , 08/07/1996 P. 0182


A4-0103/96

Proposal for a Council Directive amending for the first time Directive 90/394/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens at work (COM(95)0425 - C4-0433/95 - 95/0229(SYN))

The proposal was approved with the following amendments:

(Amendment 1)

Recital 2a (new)

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas the Commission's proposal for a Council Decision adopting a programme of non-legislative measures to improve health and safety at work1 provides in particular for the continuation of work on setting limit values for exposure at the workplace;

1 OJ C 262, 7.10.1995, p. 18.

(Amendment 2)

Recital 4

>Original text>

Whereas in all work situations workers must be protected in respect of preparations containing one or more carcinogens;

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas in all work situations workers must be protected in respect of preparations containing one or more carcinogens and from carcinogenic compounds arising at work;

(Amendment 3)

Recital 8a (new)

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas, in order to ensure that the action taken is both flexible and productive, the Commission should clarify the possibilities for simplifying the setting of limit values for carcinogens, particularly those for which limit values based purely on health grounds have already been obtained from scientific evidence and reliable studies;

(Amendment 4)

Recital 8b (new)

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas the Commission should draw up a plan on how the necessary limit values can be set as quickly as possible for all the substances listed as class 1 and 2 carcinogens in Annex VI to Directive 67/548/EEC;

(Amendment 5)

Recital 9

>Original text>

Whereas benzene is a carcinogen which is present in many work situations; whereas, therefore, a large number of workers are exposed to a potential health risk; whereas, although current scientific knowledge is not such that a level can be established below which risks to health cease to exist, a reduction in exposure to benzene will nonetheless reduce these risks;

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas benzene is a carcinogen which is present in many work situations; whereas, therefore, a large number of workers are exposed to a potential health risk; whereas, although current scientific knowledge classifies benzene among the substances for which a level cannot be established below which risks to health cease to exist, a reduction in exposure to benzene will nonetheless reduce these risks;

(Amendment 6)

Recital 9a (new)

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas it is important to set biological limit values to carcinogens in order to estimate the level of absorption of other channels than the breath; whereas bio-monitoring is an important procedure for assessing benzene exposure, and the Commission should therefore propose a biological limit value for benzene without delay;

(Amendment 7)

Recital 9b (new)

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas arsenic and several arsenic compounds (arsenic trioxide; arsenic pentoxide, arsenic acid and its salts) are carcinogens to which a great number of workers are exposed in a wide variety of areas; whereas the setting of limit values for these substances and the consequent reduction of exposure will reduce these risks; whereas arsenic and several arsenic compounds should be added in the Commission priority list of substances for scientific evaluation in order to set limit values as soon as possible;

(Amendment 8)

Recital 10

>Original text>

Whereas the respect of the minimum requirements on the protection of health and safety of workers from the specific risks related to carcinogens ensures not only the protection of the health and safety of each individual worker but also provides a level of minimum protection of all workers in the Community which avoids any possible distortion in the area of competitiveness;

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas the respect of the minimum requirements on the protection of health and safety of workers from the specific risks related to carcinogens aims not only to ensure the protection of the health and safety of each individual worker but also to provide a level of minimum protection of all workers in the Community which avoids any possible distortion in the area of competitiveness;

(Amendment 9)

Recital 10a (new)

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas all the directives concerning protection of the health of workers at the place of work and the directives concerning protection of public health and of the general environment must reflect a single overall vision of socio-economic development in the European Union; whereas the measures taken concerning benzene under this Directive must therefore be consistent with the aims and provisions of Directive 94/63/EC on the control of volatile organic compound emissions (and thus of benzene emissions) resulting from the storage of petrol and its distribution from terminals to service stations1;

1 OJ L 365, 31.12.1994, p. 24.

(Amendment 10)

Recital 10b (new)

>Text following EP vote>

Whereas those companies that have carcinogens present at the workplace must be able to prove that they regularly inform workers, who handle them or are exposed thereto, of the risks of such exposure; whereas they must also be able to prove that the workers concerned have been informed of the best methods for protecting themselves from such substances;

(Amendment 11)

Recital 11

>Original text>

Whereas provision should be made to ensure the protection of the health and safety of workers concerned, in the case of derogations provided for specified activities or sector of activity where the implementation of the limit value proposed for benzene may be difficult to meet within the date proposed;

>Text following EP vote>

Deleted

(Amendment 12)

ARTICLE 1(1)

Article 2(b) (Directive 90/394/EEC)

>Original text>

(b) 'limit value' means, unless otherwise specified, the limit of concentration for a 'carcinogen' in the air within the breathing zone of a worker.

>Text following EP vote>

(b) 'limit value' means, unless otherwise specified, the limit of concentration for a 'carcinogen' within the breathing zone of a worker in relation to an appropriate reference period. Breathing zone is the space from where he takes his breath. It shall be forbidden to exceed this value.

(Amendment 13)

ARTICLE 1(1)

Article 2(ba) (new) (Directive 90/394/EEC)

>Text following EP vote>

(ba) 'biological limit value' means the limit of concentration, in the appropriate biological medium, of the relevant agent, its metabolite, or an indicator of effect. It shall be forbidden to exceed this value.

(Amendment 14)

ARTICLE 1(3)

Article 16(3) (Directive 90/394/EEC)

>Original text>

3. In Article 16, the following paragraph shall be added:

'3. In the case of derogations provided for in Annex III, the Member States shall be obliged to ensure that employers comply with procedures and measure in order to take adequate precautions to protect the health and safety of the workers concerned.'

>Text following EP vote>

Deleted

(Amendment 15)

ARTICLE 1(5)

Annex III(A), table, last column (Directive 90/394/EEC)

>Original text>

Derogations

Limit value: 3 ppm (=9.75 mg/m3) until 31 December 2000 for the following activities or sector of activity:

>Text following EP vote>

Deleted

>Original text>

- Selected sites in coke plants (primary coolers, benzol/sulphate houses, benzol storage and loading)

>Original text>

- cleaning and maintenance of tanks

- loading and unloading of tanker vessels and lorries

- marine transport

- motor vehicle repair shops

- service station with filling attendant

(Amendment 16)

ARTICLE 1(5)

Annex III(A), new subparagraph after table (Directive 90/394/EEC)

>Text following EP vote>

A uniform measuring procedure for determining the limit value for benzene in the air shall be laid down.

Legislative resolution embodying Parliament's opinion on the proposal for a Council Directive amending for the first time Directive 90/394/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens at work (COM(95)0425 - C4-0433/95 - 95/0229(SYN))

(Cooperation procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council, COM(95)0425 - 95/0229(SYN) ((OJ C 317, 28.11.1995, p. 16.)),

- having been consulted by the Council pursuant to Articles 189c and 118a of the EC Treaty (C4-0433/95),

- having regard to Rule 58 of its Rules of Procedure,

- having regard to the report of the Committee on Social Affairs and Employment and the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection (A4-0103/96),

1. Approves the Commission proposal, subject to Parliament's amendments;

2. Calls on the Council to notify Parliament should it intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3. Calls for the conciliation procedure to be opened should the Council intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4. Asks to be consulted again should the Council intend to make substantial modifications to the Commission proposal;

5. Instructs its President to forward this opinion to the Council and Commission.