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Being aware of the importance of the role hazardous substances play at the workplace, the
European legislator adopted, amongst others:
The OSH framework directive (directive 89/391/EEC)
The carcinogens and mutagens directive (directive 2004/37/EC)
The chemical agents directive (directive 1998/24/EC)
The construction site directive (directive 92/57/EEC)
The biological agents directive (directive 2000/54/EC)
Today the EU provides a comprehensive legislative framework for the protection of workers’ health. Various types of hazardous dust are regulated in a number of Directives and this provides a basis for social partner action.
The high importance of the topic is also proven by the decision of EU-OSHA to choose Dangerous Substances as the topic for their 2018 – 2019 campaign in which both FIEC and
EFBWW are campaign partners.
A proper implementation of the above legal frameworks remain a challenge especially in a work environment that permanently changes. This permanent change is one of the main characteristics of construction work. Furthermore, construction work presents a very high diversity of types of processes or equipment used, to name the most relevant aspects.
Therefore, the levels and circumstances of exposure can vary significantly as well. 
Workers and employers are equally concerned and therefore the topic of dangerous substances, even though it is highly complex and not easy to deal with, was put on the agenda of the European social partner organisations and other institutions already a long time ago. The EFBWW and FIEC already did joint activities in the field of asbestos dust and, more recently, the social partners established an ad-hoc working group to support the implementation of the new occupational limit value for Respirable Crystalline Silica. The working group elaborated the concept for this project, which constitutes one initiative as part of a broader willingness of cooperation on implementation activities.
The project partners believe that, based on the technical state of the art, solutions for sound prevention of exposure to RCS are achievable for most construction activities. So as to reach those levels, a dialogue between social partners from various countries, the respective prevention bodies and other stakeholders (amongst others the providers of technical equipment) is crucial and a good starting point. We are aiming at bringing together those stakeholders in the framework of this project.

This is a precondition to figure out the state of the art in terms of prevention against RCS exposure.

The goals of the project are to:

1. Bring together stakeholders for a better prevention against RCS exposure in construction works;

2. Map various types of construction works and evaluate their level of RCS exposure;

3. Evaluate the level of protection needed for the different types of construction works

identified and the feasibility of keeping the exposure below the limit value (traffic light


4. Describe technical and organisational measures to reach the best achievable level of


5. Make the information available in as many languages as possible;

6. Provide guidance on the needed technical innovations for those activities for which

the new limit value is more complicated or impossible to achieve;

On a second level, the project aims at fostering discussions and activities at national level. This shall be ensured through the active involvement of our respective members at national level, the involvement of experts from, amongst others, national prevention institutions and the continuous reporting within the structures of the European Social Dialogue.

In addition to the deliverables listed below, we aim at designing a precise dissemination and follow-up activity plan, guaranteeing a long-lasting impact of the project.

Start:  2020
End:   2022

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