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ESC opinion on health and safety at work

The Economic and Social Committee of the European Union has published its Opinion on the Commission's Communication on a Community programme concerning safety, hygiene and health at work (1996-2000), and on the proposal for a Council Decision adopting a programme of non-legisl...
The Economic and Social Committee of the European Union has published its Opinion on the Commission's Communication on a Community programme concerning safety, hygiene and health at work (1996-2000), and on the proposal for a Council Decision adopting a programme of non-legislative measures to improve health and safety at work.

The Committee welcomed the general direction of the Commission's proposals, but felt that the specific programme proposed lacked direction and was ambiguous. The Committee urged the Commission to pay more attention to the needs of the service sector, and in particular SMEs, which had been somewhat neglected in previous health and safety measures. The opinion also stresses the importance of the Advisory Committee for Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work (ACSHH), which the Committee felt should have a stronger role.

The Committee further asked the Commission to clarify its proposals for health and safety education in schools and further education colleges, and suggested that health and safety education should be lifelong. Finally, the Committee stated that it was vital that existing legislation was fully implemented in all Member States, and that the infringement proceedings envisaged should be clearer and more convincing.
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