Stricter limits for dangerous substances in the workplace
The Employment and Social Affairs committee (EMPL) of the European Parliament agreed to regulate for stricter limits the exposure to carcinogens or mutagens in the workplace.
Today’s vote tightened the Commission’s proposal for revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD) from May last year.
GUE/NGL has been vocally arguing for the inclusion of reprotoxic substances within the scope of the directive, which according to scientific data adversely affects human fertility and child development during gestation and after birth.
The group’s shadow rapporteur Patrick Le Hyaric explained the importance of this outcome:
“Reprotoxic substances were not included in the Commission’s proposal for revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive despite evidence of their negative effect on fertility of workers exposed to the substances. The Commission is now being instructed to revise its original proposal and consider limiting reprotoxic substances in the workplace by the first quarter of 2019.”
“The decision came as a result of our efforts towards greater protection of workers’ health, meaning stricter binding limits and broadening of scope for dangerous substances in the workplace.”
“Work-related cancers are the number one cause of death for workers in Europe. This problem must be tackled from its roots with stricter and binding limits for employers,” the French MEP added.
“Workers must have access to health monitoring before, during and after exposure – in addition to long-term check-ups – as a minimum requirement to safeguard their health. Employers must act responsibly and therefore work towards eliminating and reducing all carcinogens and mutagens from the workplace.”
“We will insist on the application of the precautionary principle even when there are uncertainties; the protection of workers and their well-being must come before profit,” Le Hyaric concluded.