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Document 62004CO0052

Summary of the Order

Order of the Court (Second Chamber) of 14 July 2005.
Personalrat der Feuerwehr Hamburg v Leiter der Feuerwehr Hamburg.
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Bundesverwaltungsgericht - Germany.
Article 104(3) of the Rules of Procedure - Social policy - Protection of workers’ health and safety - Directives 89/391/EEC and 93/104/EC - Scope - Operational crews of a public fire service - Inclusion - Conditions.
Case C-52/04.

Keywords
Summary

Keywords

Social policy — Protection of the health and safety of workers — Directive 89/391 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the health and safety of workers at work — Directive 93/104 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time — Scope — Operational crews of a public fire service — Included — Application of the rule prescribing the maximum weekly working time — Derogation in exceptional circumstances

(Council Directives 89/391, Art. 2, and 93/104 Arts 1(3) and 6, point 2)

Summary

Article 2 of Directive 89/391 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the health and safety of workers at work and Article 1(3) of Directive 93/104 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time must be interpreted as meaning that:

- the activities carried out by the operational crews of a public fire service normally fall within the scope of those directives so that, in principle, Article 6(2) of Directive 93/104 precludes exceeding the 48-hours ceiling prescribed as the maximum weekly working time, including time on call;

- it is nevertheless possible for such ceiling to be exceeded in exceptional circumstances of such gravity and scale that the aim of ensuring the proper functioning of services essential for the protection of public interests, such as public order, health and safety, must temporarily prevail over the aim of guaranteeing the health and safety of workers assigned to intervention and rescue teams; even in such exceptional situations, however, the aims of Directive 89/391 must be upheld as far as possible.

(see paras 53, 55-57, 61, operative part)

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