Several European Directives control workers’ exposure to potentially damaging physical agents in the workplace, such as explosive atmospheres, vibration, noise, electromagnetic fields, and optical radiation. These Directives (see list below) lay down minimum requirements for worker protection and are adopted under the framework EU Directive 89/391/EEC on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers:
- Directive 2002/44/EC – risks arising from vibration
- Directive 2003/10/EC – risks arising from noise
- Directive 2006/25/EC – risks arising from artificial optical radiation
- Directive 2013/35/EU – risks arising from electromagnetic fields
- Directive 1999/92/EC – risks from explosive atmospheres
Why is it important?
The health and safety risks from physical agents are diverse, but these risks can be controlled. The primary control principles that can generally be applied to the agents are eliminating or reducing emissions at the source, reducing transmitted energy using barriers, managing the duration of exposures, and using protective clothing. In addition to these control measures, information, instruction, and training for machine users and health surveillance are also important components of successful programmes to manage physical agents’ risks.
Since its creation in 1993, workers’ health and safety have been at the core of IMA-Europe’s concerns and activities.
The Association’s role is to follow legislative developments in this area and inform our Members on their obligations and the best risk management measures to protect their workers correctly.