Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Programme funding

EUR 26 million

Official Journal Reference

C 325 of 1989-12-29

Legislative Reference

To ensure that safety aspects are considered in the design, development, operation and maintenance of new technological processes, to ensure that technology concepts and methods of identification, measurement and assessment relating to safety and health risks are harmonized, and to meet the needs of the working population by improving safety in the working environment.


Pursuant to Article 55 of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the Commission is required to promote technical and economic research relating to occupational safety in the coal and steel industries. The funds for this aid are derived from levies imposed on the production of coal and steel as provided for in Article 49 of the ECSC Treaty.

Until 1976 projects for safety research in coal and ironstone mining were proposed and selected on an individual basis without recourse to an overall programme. A first "Safety in Mines" research programme with a duration of five years was instituted by the Commission on 21 December 1976. A second five-year programme followed in 1982. Occupational safety in the steel industry has previously been covered by only one pluriannual programme at the beginning of the eighties (Official Journal No C 40 of 11.2.1983), dealing with the repercussions of technological changes, in particular, the introduction of continuous casting.

Research into safety in the ECSC industries is also provided for in pluriannual programmes on ergonomics, medical research, industrial hygiene in mines, and control of nuisances and pollution at the place of work and in the environment of iron and steel works. Safety aspects are also considered in the technical research programmes on coal and steel.


- Steel industry:
. Blast furnaces and upstream installations (coking, ore preparation, and interplants):
Reliability of technical installations (instrumentation, regulation and control), the development of technical and ergonomic aids and the training of workers in matters relating to the production process and its risks;
. Melting shops:
The nature and possible effects of hazards to workers in all parts of melting shops;
. Rolling Mills:
Safety-related effects of automation and computerization on workers, extensive harmonization of plant-related demands on the performance of workers, taking special account of factors adversity affecting workplaces, e.g. heat, noise, dust and fumes;
. Finishing shops:
To separate human operatives on the one hand and machinery and products on the other or optimize interfaces between these two spheres and to motivate workers to more safety-conscious behaviour by providing better information on the technical and organizational aspects of finishing shop operation;
. Maintenance:
The efficiency, in respect of labour protection, of computer-aided maintenance planning and control systems;

- Mines:
. Mine fires and spontaneous combustions:
To improve prevention of spontaneous combustion underground, to minimize the risk of fires and heating, to limit their effects on equipment, ventilation and especially the workers;
. Explosions:
To continue studies on firedamp ignition by the action of machine picks during winning;
. Rescue arrangements:
To improve safety in the short term and make alert facilities more speedy and evacuation procedures easier and safer;
. Monitoring, telemetry, data presentation, remote control, automation and communication:
Reliability of sensors, transmissions and communications, improvement of automatic miner identification or pinpointing systems, establishment of high-performance means of communication;
. Transport and handling:
Optimization of transport means and methods;
. Electricity and energy:
To study the safety of equipment, for the supply of electricity at the face where high voltage is required, and conditions of its use, to carry out research into the development of ultra-rapid cut-off devices to limit the power of arcs resulting from mechanical damages to cables, to perfect the protection of electrical equipment, and to study the problems of static electricity, particularly in the context of the greater use of static materials underground;
. Materials technology:
To develop materials for use in mines with regard to mechanical properties, fire risk, explosion risk, toxicity, and use for special applications;
. Winning methods:
Problems to be studied in this field concern strata pressure and supports, firedamps, water ingress and ventilation, and the face-gate junction;
. Rock barets, associated phenomena and gas outbursts:
Development of prevention methods, the study and treatment of the warning signs, the development of precautions;
. Surface activities:
To study problems complementary to those underground (extraction, transport and handling of materials, transport of workers, explosives in quarries or open-cast workings), and those specific to the surface (washeries, tips, quarries, open-cast workings, abandoned shafts).


The Commission, assisted by the ECSC Consultative Committee, is responsible for the implementation of the programme. The consultative bodies, Research Committee on Safety, Committee of Producers and Workers on Safety and Industrial Medicine, and the Committee of Government Experts, provide advice when the projects are considered.

The projects which receive Community financial assistance under this programme will be carried out by steel and mining companies in the Member States and by the competent research institutes. An increasing proportion of the projects is directed towards the development, adaptation and furthering of procedures or materials. Projects will be divided amongst institutes, the practitioners and possibly also suppliers.

Research applications must reach the Commission of the European Communities by 1 October of each year in order to be examined and considered for financing in the following year. Community financial assistance may not exceed 60% of the total of the direct cost of a project.

Details and results of the research will be published in Euro- Abstracts. Further information will be published in the technical and scientific literature available to the public and complete reports on any project which has been granted assistance will be available on request from the Commission.


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