The European Panel Federation, EPF, the Confederation of Woodworking Industries, CEI-Bois, and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers, EFBWW, are aware of the health risks associated with the chemical substance formaldehyde and have therefore been active so that occupational exposure to this substance in the production of wood-based products has been decreasing over decades.
It is the overall goal of the social partners to offer safe occupational conditions for workers while maintaining the technical quality of the products expected by the customers. During the plenary meeting of the EU Social Dialogue Committee Wood that took place on 10 June 2008, CEI-Bois and EFBWW agreed to undertake a joint project ‘Reduction of exposure to formaldehyde in the woodworking industries’ resulting to this brochure.
This brochure takes into account the legislative context as well as the Social Dialogue discussions between the partners. By focusing on the co-operation and the participation of workers and their representatives concerning the evaluation of the exposure to formaldehyde and finding pathways for better prevention the project fosters social dialogue between the European Social Partner Organisations and their national affiliates.
It is expected that the findings of the project will incite comments and additional information and will lead to an intensive exchange of views about best practices and best solutions on this basis of which a continuation and deeping of the Dialogue could be envisaged. Deepening and further intensifying the Dialogue might lead to commonly agreed solutions with direct effects in the interest of the workers and the industry. We believe that voluntary activities, such as the current REF-Wood project as well as possible future projects, could very effectively support practical prevention activities.