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December 22, 2011

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Call for action on reducing wood-dust emissions

The European social partners in the wood sector have called on the European Commission to verify whether machinery and equipment marketed in the EU has been designed and manufactured to reduce wood dust to a minimum.

The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Confederation of Woodworking industries (CEI-Bois) have been campaigning for a number of years to reduce workers’ exposure to wood dust, which can cause various illnesses, including cancer.

In a joint declaration issued in November the partners emphasises the importance of strengthening the link between the supply and use of woodworking machinery to minimise the emission of and thus exposure to wood dust. They also urge the European Commission to instigate dialogue between machinery producers and the woodworking industry, and confirm that the former complies with directives governing equipment, and the latter with directives on the protection of workers.

It is suggested that a working party connected with the technical committee CEN TC 142 be established to take charge of developing safety standards for woodworking machines.

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