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Parliamentary questions
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7 October 2019
Answer given by Ms Thyssen on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002401/2019

1. The framework Directive 89/391/EEC sets general obligations on the employer to carry out a risk assessment. Furthermore, the chemical agents’ and carcinogens and mutagens directives(1) set out additional requirements specific to managing chemical risks. 2. Pursuant to Directive 89/391/EEC, every five years, the Member States submit a report to the Commission on the practical implementation of this legal framework at national level. The most recent results of the evaluation are published(2). Every five years Member States also submit to the Commission a report on the operation and enforcement of REACH.

The main results of the ex-post evaluation of the implementation of the OSH framework for the period 2007 ‐2012 confirms that the EU legislation in the field of health and safety at work is generally effective and fit-for-purpose, but that there are challenges to be addressed with a view to improvising its performance.

REACH(3) and CLP Regulations(4) include the obligation for a review every five years to monitor progress in the achievement of its objectives.

A number of supporting activities help employers and workers across sectors to improve compliance, including an online tool to help manage dangerous substances(5) and the dangerous substances campaign(6).

3. Pursuant to the same Framework Directive 89/391/EEC, employers are required to ensure that workers receive health surveillance appropriate to the health and safety risks they incur at work in accordance with national law and/or practices. Consequently, it is for the employer, on a case-by-case basis, to determine the nature of the health surveillance taking into account the actual risks at the workplace and the applicable national legislation.

(1)Council Directive 98/24/EC of 7 April 1998 on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work; Directive (EU) 2019/130 of 16 January 2019 amending Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work.
(3)Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC, OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(4)Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1.

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