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2013 - Asbestos related occupational disease in Europe

Today, and pursuant to directive 1999/77/EC, all asbestos fibres are prohibited throughout Europe. Nevertheless workers as well as dwellers and users of public buildings are potentially exposed to asbestos. Asbestos related deaths remain on a very high level for at least another decade.
In March 2013 the European Parliament adopted an own initiative report on asbestos, the European Social Dialogue of the construction sector worked out Asbestos Information Modules for different work activities and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) is running a European-wide asbestos campaign.
The project was considered as complementary to these activities. The overall aim of the project was to prepare information and material on the subject of asbestos related diseases, the recognition procedure and the compensation of recognised diseases in Central and East European countries. Before the project, similar information was available for 13 West-European countries, documented in a EUROGIP report (April 2006). The expressive aim of the project was to provide similar information for other areas in Europe, especially against the background of an ever more increasing mobility of workers.

Project results are a scientific report (English) and a summary report (15 languages). The output is directed to workers’ and victims’ organisations and mainly used for their information and training.
A two day seminar for workers and victims was held in Brussels. 77 participants from 22 European countries discussed the different facets of the asbestos issue and used the occasion for networking.
Project partners were the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers, the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat and the European Trade Union Confederation. Because of the structure and capacity of the participating organisations an extremely effective dissemination of the project results is guaranteed.

Main objectives
The overall aim of the project was to prepare information and material on the issue of asbestos related diseases, its recognition, the recognition procedure and the compensation of this kind of diseases in the EU and candidate countries. The project output is directed to workers and workers’ organisations primarily in the construction industry, but also to victim organisations, defending the social rights of asbestos victims, and to other stakeholders, including authorities and policy makers. It is the aim of the trade union organisations as well as the victim organisations to use this material for the training/information of workers and victims (often two traits in the same person).
For the primary goal (preparing information and material) it was necessary to delineate a research strategy. Before the project we had information on the recognition and compensation of asbestos-related diseases in 13 West-European countries from an EUROGIP report dated April 2006. The aim of the project was to provide similar information for Central and East European countries. The research work was commissioned to the scientific institute “Kooperationsstelle Hamburg” in Germany. The research-report is published in English and a summary report of some 16 pages (depending on the language is providing basic information on the different aspects for all participating 14 countries and is published in 15 languages.
Our project was also aiming at achieving better and more frequent collaboration between trade union organisations and the different asbestos victim organisations. During the last decades numerous victim organisations were created throughout Europe, often alongside trade union structures. However, Victims are often trade union members and therefore, a better cooperation between these groups will improve the representation of and a better service for the injured, as it is already the case in many countries.
Finally, another main goal of the project was to facilitate the information and training of worker representatives and workers/victims regarding all aspects of the legal procedures regarding the recognition and compensation of asbestos related diseases. The summary report will be the basis for these information and training activities which is our main follow up activity after the project came formally to its end.

Key Results
Key results of the action are touching the area of information and training of workers on the one hand and collaboration between stakeholders on the other hand.
The research activities of the project resulted in a report on the recognition and compensation of asbestos related diseases in Central and Eastern European Countries. The report is available in English and the Summary is available in fifteen languages ((English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Danish, Latvian, Czech, Croatian, Bulgarian, Turkish and Serbian). This summary will be used for the information and training of workers and all other stakeholders dealing with asbestos related health problems and its recognition, including authorities, prevention institutions and institutes or victim organisations.
A European seminar with 77 participants from 22 European countries provided an excellent platform for networking and resulted in numerous new contacts and collaborations. This seminar also provided the basis for many supportive contacts which created the basis for the research on asbestos related diseases.

Below please find the summary of the results in 15 languages:
English
French
German
Spanish
Italian
Danish
Polish
Romanian
Bulgarian
Latvian
Croatian
Turkish
Hungarian
Czech
Serbian

Below please find the full report in
English: Full report


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