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European schedule of occupational diseases

The development of a European schedule of occupational diseases has three main aims: to improve knowledge of the subject at European level (collection and comparability of data); to step up prevention: the Member States are asked to define quantified objectives with a view to reducing the rate of these diseases and to provide assistance to the workers concerned to enable them more easily to prove the link between their occupational activities and their disease and apply for compensation.

ACT

Commission Recommendation 2003/670/EC of 19 September 2003 concerning the European schedule of occupational diseases.

SUMMARY

The Commission recommends, without prejudice to more favourable national laws or regulations, that the Member States:

  • introduce into their national legislation the European schedule in Annex I. This list covers the diseases which have been scientifically recognised as being occupational in origin, which are liable for compensation and which must be the subject of preventive measures;
  • work to introduce into their national legislation a law on compensation for occupational diseases whose origin and occupational nature can be proved, particularly if the disease is listed in Annex II;
  • progressively make their statistics concerning occupational diseases compatible with the schedule in Annex I;
  • develop preventive measures, by involving all interested parties and, where appropriate, by exchanging information, experience and good practice through the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work;
  • establish national quantified objectives with a view to reducing the rate of recognised occupational diseases, particularly those mentioned in Annex I;
  • take special account of medical information notices on diseases in the European schedule and supply other Member States, on request, with all the relevant information on diseases or agents recognised in their national legislation;
  • encourage national health systems to contribute actively towards disease prevention, in particular by raising the awareness of medical personnel in order to improve knowledge and diagnosis of these diseases;
  • introduce a system for the collection and exchange of data on the epidemiology of diseases, especially those listed in Annex II, and promote research.

The Member States themselves determine the criteria for recognising each occupational disease.

Context

This recommendation replaces Commission Recommendation 90/326/EEC of 22 May 1990 concerning the adoption of a European schedule of occupational diseases.
This new recommendation is required in order to take account of data deriving from scientific and technical progress in this field, to have an up-to-date instrument in the run-up to the European Union's impending enlargement, and to do justice to the special interest the " new Community strategy on safety and health at work 2002-2006 " places on enhanced prevention of occupational diseases.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Recommendation 2003/670/CE

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OJ L 238 of 25.09.2003

RELATED ACTS

Communication from the Commission of 20 September 1996 concerning the European schedule of occupational diseases [COM(96) 454 final].

In the light of information provided by the Member States, the Commission has reviewed progress in implementing the 1990 recommendation: the Member States have made great efforts to conform to Annex I to the recommendation. The Commission takes the view that at present it would be premature to propose binding legislation to replace the recommendation. However, it does intend to consider this option when the European schedule of occupational diseases is updated. This is due to take place in the first half of 2001 and is designed to take account of technical and scientific progress and the results of the work and projects currently under way to improve, inter alia, the collection, comparability and epidemiological analysis of statistics on occupational diseases.

Commission Recommendation 90/326/EEC of 22 May 1990 concerning the adoption of a European schedule of occupational diseases.

Last updated: 15.05.2007
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