EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS REPORT ON ASBESTOS

On 23 January 2013, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament adopted a report drawn up by Stephen Hughes. This report is largely in line with the stated aims of the European Trade Union Confederation and organisations representing asbestos victims in different countries.

The report explores over the different areas in which the European Union can intervene. It calls for a policy that protects workers and the population effectively. It notes that millions of tonnes of asbestos in existing buildings and facilities continue to represent a health hazard in Europe. It calls on the European Commission to implement a coherent strategy. It recommends establishing a registry for buildings containing asbestos, to ensure the qualification and training of workers responsible for asbestos removal, to ensure better compensation for occupational diseases caused by asbestos, to put an end to exemptions that allow chrysotile asbestos to be imported into the European Union, and to ban exports containing asbestos to developing countries.

The report was adopted by a very wide majority: 40 votes for, two against and one abstention. Its adoption is all the more important as the European Commission has not defined the contents of the occupational health and safety strategy for the period 2013-2020.

- ETUI asbestos file: http://www.etui.org/en/Topics/Healt…

- European Parliament documentation on the report: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/…

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