Running EU projects

Implementing Action Guide for Formaldehyde Reduction

31/03/2020

This project deals with the protection of workers against the exposure to Formaldehyde, a substance presumed carcinogenic to humans.

The project partners EFBWW and EPF believe that the Social Partners at national and company level need support before adopting the agreement at national level and to implement the action guide properly. In this respect, the social partners at national level first need the action guide in their respective mother tongue.

The specific actions of the project are:

  1. Translation of the Action Guide
  2. Running a series of seven one-day workshops at national and if possible at company level. We intend to ensure that seminars take place in the various regions of Europe, but preferably in countries with a significant Panel Production.
  3. Additionally, a first seminar will serve as a kick-off event to present and discuss the result of the previous EC funded EU Social Dialogue Wood Projects REFWOOD and PCWIE and to train the trainers who will subsequently have to train the responsible SHE people (Safety, Health and Environment) in their countries and companies. The trained trainers from the first workshop may then become the trainers during the subsequent national and company workshops.
  4. Provide guidance and stimulate technical innovations for those activities for which the new limit value is more complicated or impossible to achieve
  5. Preparing, initiating and monitoring the concept of information and data collection in accordance with the voluntary agreement and re-evaluate its timeline
  6. Evaluating the enhanced level of worker protection after actions have been taken at company level

The first seminar being the Train-the-Trainers workshop is planned to take place in Brussels, unless it would turn out to be more appropriate to organise it close to a factory to allow an on-site reality check.

It is envisaged to organise the subsequent workshops in the countries expressing the most interest and/or need. The national members of EFBWW and EPF in these countries will be involved in the practical organisation of these workshops in order to reduce the costs to a minimum.

The following goals are envisaged:

  1. Harmonised implementation of the Action Guide on Formaldehyde to bridge the gap ahead of the implementation of the Binding OEL under the recently adopted 3rd revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive.
  2. Facilitate the understanding and dissemination of the Action Guide by translating it in EU languages which are not yet available.
  3. Transfer the knowledge of the experts who developed the Action Guide to trainers at national and company level who subsequently transfer their knowledge further in their countries and companies.
  4. Transfer lessons learned from first workshops to later workshops as well as between countries for mutual benefit.
  5. Reduce the areas of potential elevated exposure in order to reduce the need for the use of personal protective equipment as much as possible.
  6. Reducing the areas of potential elevated exposure will also help improve the confidence and well-being of the workers who will have to worry less when they know that they (nearly) never are in potentially elevated exposure zones via the zoning system.
  7. Brief reports on each of the workshops and seminars.
  8. Develop and optimise the reporting systems under the voluntary agreement.
  9. Joint communications of EFBWW and EPF on the achievements with the implementation of the Action Guide and the voluntary agreement.