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Prevention of Respirable Crystalline Silica at the workplace Social Dialogue


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Title: Prevention of Respirable Crystalline Silica at the workplace Social Dialogue

Prevention of Respirable Crystalline Silica at
the workplace Social Dialogue
Insert your logo
Crystalline Silica in Foundries
  • Crystalline silica is ubiquitous
  • Crystalline silica is the base material of cores
    and moulds
  • Crystalline silica flour is the base material of
    refractory materials
  • Where there is crystalline silica, there is often
    also respirable crystalline silica

Definition of Respirable Crystalline Silica Dust
alveolar fraction (A)
thoracic fraction
respirable fraction (R)
Aerodynamic diameter (µm)
RCS at workplaces in foundries
Red line Current limit value in A and
inofficial limit value in D 0.15 mg/m3 Grey
line Suggestion from SCOEL for EU lt 0.05 mg/m3
Insert a chart that informs about the measured
values in your country
The blue curve reflects the 90-value in mg/m3
(Main association of commercial Employers'
Liability Insurance Association)
European limit values for crystalline silica
(1) Other limits are applied for dust containing
quartz (2) Since 1 October 2006 (3) No OELs for
crystalline silica since 2005, instead there is a
workers health protection system.
IARC1 Classification 1997
  • Crystalline silica inhaled in the form of quartz
    or cristobalite from occupational sources is
    carcinogenic to humans, group 1
  • In making the overall evaluation, the Working
    Group noted that carcinogenicity was not detected
    in all industrial circumstances studied2

1 IARC International Agency for Research on
Cancer, Lyon 2 IARC Monographs 68, Silica,
silicates, dusts and organic dusts (1997)
SCOEL1 Statement 2003
  • The main effect in humans of the inhalation of
    respirable silica dust is silicosis. There is
    sufficient information to conclude that the
    relative risk of lung cancer is increased in
    persons with silicosis.
  • Therefore preventing the onset of silicosis will
    also reduce the cancer risk. Since a clear
    threshold for silicosis development cannot be
    identified, any reduction of exposure will reduce
    the risk of silicosis.
  • It arises that an OEL should lie below 0.05

1 SCOEL European Commission DG EMPL, Scientific
Committee for Occupational Exposure Limits
New cases of silicosis excl. coal workers
Belgium Fonds des Maladies Professionnelles Fran
ce Statistiques Financières et Technologiques
des Accidents du Travail, CNAM UK
Health Safety Statistics, HSE Germany
Berufgenossenschaften Statistiken
Consequences of an EU classification
  • Substitution
  • Use in closed systems whenever technically
    possible (Minimisation down to zero)
  • Labeling as carcinogen
  • Environmental regulatory concerns (e.g.
    emissions, waste, etc.)
  • Critical public attention
  • OEL below 0,05 mg
  • Not feasible in most foundry shops

Appropriate reply Action not legislation
What is a Social Dialogue?
  • Agreement between social partners on EU level
  • Social Dialogue Agreement (SDA) instead of legal
  • Preparation of Good Practices Documents
  • Employers strive for implementation
  • Monitoring in companies (employer/employee)
  • Several industries concerned
  • Formalised procedure of the EU-Treaty
  • Strong support through the EU Commission!!
  • Signature on April 25, 2006
  • Entry into force October 25, 2006

Social Dialogue on crystalline silica in the EU
Panels at the negotiations
NePSi Office
Negotiation Platform on Silica (NePSi) Plenary
Technical Working Group Measures etc.
Steering- Working Group Rules etc.
Gesamt- metall
Agreement text
  • Objectives
  • Health protection of employees
  • Minimisation of exposure through application of
    Good Practices (no European limit values)
  • Increase of knowledge
  • Non application
  • Non compliance with the treaty and the Good
    Practices that leads to an increased exposure and
    thereby to health risks
  • Principles
  • Increase of knowledge, necessity of a strategy of
  • Silica is indispensable for many industrial

Agreement text (2)
  • Good Practices
  • Obligation to comply with described technical
    solutions or comparable effective protective
  • Documentation within the scope of a risk
    assessment (that needs to be created anyway)
  • Monitoring and Reporting
  • Double verification principle for monitoring the
    Good Practices
  • Monitoring format considerably adapted and easy
    to handle
  • Time and effort for monitoring within reason (0.5
    to 2 days every 2 years)
  • Implementation and updating may require extra
    time, depending on the status of the respective
    occupational safety and health organization
  • Monitoring is added value from point of view of
    the workers unions

  • Annex 3 Reporting
  • In foundries the employer has to prepare a report
    every 2 years in coordination with the employees
    representative on the situation regarding
    crystalline silica dust, there are the following
  • Number of …
  • employees
  • employees exposed to crystalline silica
  • employees included in risk management
  • employees included in health monitoring
  • employees trained and informed on crystalline
  • technical occupational health and safety
  • organisational occupational health and safety
  • personal protective measures
  • Free area for your comments

Just yes/no no figures
Agreement text (3)
  • Training of employees
  • Establishment of a council as single institution
    to supervise implementation and interpretation of
    the agreement
  • Equal representation, consensual decisions
  • In repeated cases of unjustified non-application
    of the Good Practices by a company Resolution on
    appropriate measures
  • Reimbursement through European Union
  • Confidentiality stipulation
  • Duration
  • Right for termination at any time at one-year
  • If EU law is suggested regarding crystalline
    silica, parties convene to consult consequences
  • Entry into force
  • Since October 2006

More on the Social Dialogue
  • Negotiations have been concluded with a result
    that has been accepted by all negotiating parties
  • Concrete occupational health and safety measures
    have been agreed upon
  • The agreed health and safety measures as well as
    their monitoring and reporting are demanding
  • The agreements (especially the Good Practices)
    are geared to circumstances in modern
    central-European foundries

Good Practice Guide on Workers Health
Protection through the Good Handling and Use of
Crystalline Silica and Products containing it
Annex 1 Good Practices
Part 1 Respirable crystalline silica essentials
1. Introduction 1.1 What is silica? 1.2
Respirable crystalline silica 1.3 Occupational
exposure to respirable crystalline silica 2.
Silica and the silica industry 2.1 Where silica
occurs 3. Respirable crystalline silica and its
health effects 4. Risk Management What do I
need to do? Annex 1 Table of
Occupational Exposure Limit Values 2 Annex 2
Tables of processes generating fine particles
Part 2 Task Manual 56 Task Guidance Sheets,
of which 28 are of relevance for foundries
Annex 1 Risk Management
Title and (repeated) sub-titles
Employee checklist
Definition of objective
Picture or illustration
Individual task sheets General
Individual task sheets Foundries
Time Line
  • The Agreement will enter into effect 6 months
    after its implementation, provided it has been
    translated into the 20 official EU languages.
  • In 2007, a preliminary reporting on the status of
    implementation will be organized.
  • Official reporting for the first time in 2008,
    and every 2 years from then on.


May 2008

Action plan for companies
  • Implement checklist
  • Nominate responsibles
  • Organize training sessions
  • Determine exposure (risk assessment)
  • Prepare reporting
  • Further information

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