Stronger rules to protect workers from asbestos are a success for citizens and Renew Europe

Author: Linda Aziz-Rohlje



Protecting workers landscape

Renew Europe considers today's plenary adoption of the final legislative act delivering better protection of workers from asbestos a great victory in preventing work-related cancer within the Union and safeguarding health equity across the EU. Renew wants to pay tribute to the late MEP Veronique Trillet-Lenoir, who led the negotiations and who tirelessly made sure to secure these enhanced protection measures for workers before she regrettably passed away this summer.

Renew Europe now calls on the Member States to swiftly transpose all the provisions of the directive, and on the Commission to facilitate the implementation through guidelines and sector specific responses to further protect at risk workers such as firefighters.

With the renovation wave of buildings planned under the EU Green Deal, the revision of this directive was urgent, as asbestos remains present in many buildings.

Ms Trillet-Lenoir was resolute in emphasizing that when dealing with a substance like asbestos, which has no safe threshold, focusing solely on a limit value is insufficient. The act therefore contains sharply strengthened protection and support measures, such as a drastic initial reduction of the exposure limit and the switch to electron microscopy, but also high-quality training, certification of asbestos removal companies as well as supporting measures for SMEs.


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