SAFEWORKER will develop styrene-free, vehicle body repair filler that will be rapidly cured by UV lamps resulting in faster turnaround of repairs at reduced cost. Reducing the process time will allow Europe's bodyshops to increase their throughput & therefore revenue generation potential whilst eliminating Styrene & other VOCs from the filler. Such a development, freely disseminated through the trade associations within our sector will allow ALL of Europe's 172,000 SMEs within our sector to comply with Council Directive 98/24/EC 'on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work'.
More than 98% of firms in our sector are SMEs and 83% of them employ less than 50 people. The number of cars in Europe totals 184,426,000 & is growing at 2.3% per annum. The market for accident repair has never been so buoyant. However, our industry faces a resource & skills shortage that threatens the sectors ability to satisfy future market demand. The increase in public awareness of environmental & occupational health hazards has caused worker reluctance to enter our sector due to the perceived health risks & potential reduction on quality of life. Occupational skin disease and respiratory disease effects over 100,000 workers in the European vehicle repair sector, costing the industry around 100 million Euro per annum.
These forms of skin disease & asthma are caused by exposure of our workers to specific chemicals, found in the polyester filler they use to fill dents in damaged vehicles. Our industry generates approximately 300,000 tonnes of styrene emission in Europe every year from our repair-shops. Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). These styrene emissions pose a heightened health risk to women wishing to join our sector's workforce. Our project will eliminate styrene monomer from vehicle body filler.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCollective - SMEs-Collective research projects