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LEGISLATION - Solar UV Risk

 

 

When talking about legislative aspects of outdoor workers protection against solar radiation it must be emphasised that, even if it is classified by IARC as a group 1 carcinogen (sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity to humans ) and if it represents a risk factor for all outdoor activities, “solar radiation” has not been classified in the list of carcinogens and mutagens at work by Directive 2004/37/EC.
However, UV radiation is included in the Directive 2006/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to risks arising from physical agents (artificial optical radiation). Even if solar UV radiation does not fall within the scope of this Directive, the assessment of the risk arising from all physical agents must be performed in accordance to what is stated by Directive 89/391/EEC: "The employer shall have a duty to ensure the safety and health of workers in every aspect related to the work" and: “Within the context of his responsibilities, the employer shall take the measures necessary for the safety and health protection of workers, including prevention of occupational risks and provision of information and training, as well as provision of the necessary organization and means. The employer shall be alert to the need to adjust these measures to take account of changing circumstances and aim to improve existing situations.”


In this context, National and International technical standards should be taken as guidance for good practices.
For the purposes of assessment and prevention of risks arising from exposure to solar radiation during outdoor working activities, it is
advised to refer to the ICNIRP 14/2007 document "Protecting Workers from Ultraviolet Radiation", which gives support for carrying out the
quantitative risk assessment for skin and eye exposure and to implement the adequate protection measures. These criteria have been adopted in the "Exposure calculator" section of this Portal."

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