The Risk Prevention Management System of the European Commission's staff

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1 The Risk Prevention Management System of the European Commission's staff Calvo Alonso-Cortés, Antonio Directorate-General "Human Resources and Security" 200, Rue de la Loi, B Brussels, Belgium Phone: ABSTRACT Over fifty years ago, the signing of the Treaty of Rome 1 initiated a process that now includes more than five hundred million people in 27 countries in a common mission, contributing to more than fifty years of peace in Europe, something its citizens had never known throughout their long history. The latest advance of the European Union is the Lisbon Treaty 2 ratified in November In addition to their political functions, the European institutions have the role of employer of nearly forty thousand people. Their staff Regulations 3 provide in article 1.6.2: "Officials in active employment shall be accorded working conditions complying with appropriate health and safety standards at least equivalent to the minimum requirements applicable under measures adopted in these areas pursuant to the Treaties". It could hardly be otherwise: The European institutions should be the best example of compliance with the directives developed and approved by them. They have set up their own internal "Protective and Preventive Services", as required for workplaces in Article 7 of Framework Directive. This paper will present briefly the occupational Risk Prevention Management System established by the European Commission for protecting their staff. Keywords: EU (European Union), Prevention, Management, System. [ 1 ] Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community, signed at Rome, 25 March [ 2 ] Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, signed at Lisbon, 13 December [ 3 ] Regulation No 31 (EEC), 11 (EAEC), laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community? Official Journal 45, 14 June1962.

2 INTRODUCTION Prevention is better than cure, but what would be the optimal prevention system for the European Institutions? In their institutional system, under the supreme authority of the European Council, we have: European Council (summit) European Parliament Council of Ministers (UE Council) European Commission Court of Justice Court of Auditors Economic and Social Committee Committee of the Regions European Investment Bank Agencies European Central Bank A permanent President and a High Representative of the Union. Three Institutions: The European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission. Two Courts: Court of Justice and Court of Auditors. Two advisory Committees: Committee of the Regions and Economic and Social Committee. Two Banks: European Investment Bank and European Central Bank. More than thirty specialized European agencies, two of whom have special missions in the field of prevention: The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (Bilbao) and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Dublin). EUROPEAN LEGISLATION ON OCCUPATIONAL RISK PREVENTION The EU develops the following legislative process in its areas of competence: Discussion and consultation: The general public, interest groups and specialists. Elaboration and presentation of formal proposal: The European Commission. Joint Decision: The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. Legislative decisions adopted as European directives are subsequently transposed by national authorities. The Commission and the Court of Justice are competent for verifying this transposition.

3 Article 153 of the consolidated version of the Treaty of Lisbon 4 (art. 137 of the former Treaty) states that the Union will support and complement the activities of Member States, among other areas, on: "improvement, in particular, of the working environment to protect workers' health and safety". To accomplish this mission, the European Union has adopted over thirty directives, starting on 12 June 1989 with the "Framework Directive" 89/391/EEC 5 "on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work". Once the Directives are approved and incorporated into the Member States' laws, they are mandatory in all workplaces in the territory of the Union, under the responsibility of their respective employers. OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD PREVENTION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION STAFF Political and administrative structure The European Commission is constituted by its President, Vice-Presidents and Commissioners, 27 persons in all, one from each of the Member States. Its administrative structure has forty Directorates-General and Services, with some 25,000 staff, the majority working at headquarters in Brussels and Luxembourg. However, three Directorates-General have a high proportion of staff in other countries: The Directorate-General of Communication, with representative offices in each of the 27 Member States. The Joint Research Centre, with seven scientific institutes located in five cities: Ispra (Italy), Geel (Belgium), Karlsruhe (Germany), Petten (Netherlands) and Sevilla (Spain). The Directorate-General for External Relations, with 137 delegations in third countries. These personnel should become part of the European External Action Service during this year, as envisaged in the Lisbon Treaty. Legal framework of the internal Preventive Management System The European Commission has developed the mandate of the Staff Regulations adopting, on 26 April , a decision that establishes "a harmonized policy on health and safety for all staff". The Commission delegates its responsibility for safety and hygiene by this decision, to the following authorities: [ 4 ] Official Journal C 115 of 9 May [ 5 ] Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work, Official Journal L 183 of 29 June [ 6 ] Commission decision [C/2006/1623], establishing a harmonised policy for health and safety at work for all Commission staff, 26 April 2006.

4 For headquarters, to the Directors of the Offices for Infrastructure and Logistics of Brussels 7 and Luxembourg 8 and the Directors-General of Human Resources and Security, Transport and Energy and the Publications Office. For other places, to the Directors-General of Communication, Joint Research Centre and External Relations. The decision C/2006/1623 delegated to these authorities three different levels of responsibility that relate to one or more of the following functions: The adoption of the Prevention Management System Its implementation Its control and audit. Adoption of a harmonized Prevention Management System The Directorate-General of Human Resources and Security has established, for the headquarters, an internal prevention system adapted to the European directives and relevant provisions of Belgian and Luxemburg laws 9. The Directors-General of Communications and the Joint Research Centre have also adopted respectively, for the representative offices and scientific institutes located in other EU countries, European and national legislation of the host State. More difficult is the adoption of a Prevention Management System for the delegations of the Union located in third countries with very different laws. They cannot count on harmonizing European legislation as a reference. But in addition to the European and national laws, the Prevention Management System of the Commission premises in the Member States implements the Safety Guidelines for the Occupational Health and Safety Systems OHSAS 18001: and 18002: The text and the spirit of these standards, developed by fifty international bodies of standardization and certification, are very close to the European directives, sharing the same basic principles: Respect of national laws Risk assessment Clear document structure for prevention procedures Safety coordination of external enterprises. [ 7 ] Commission decision [2003/523/EC], establishing the Office for infrastructure and logistics in Brussels, 06 November [ 8 ] Commission decision [2003/524/EC], establishing the Office for infrastructure and logistics in Luxemburg, 06 November [ 9 ] Decision (2008)3248 of Director-General of Personnel and Administration, 22 April [ 10 ] Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Requirements, 31 July [ 11 ] Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Guidelines for the implementation of OHSAS 18001:2007, 30 November 2008.

5 Registration and analysis of accidents and incidents Information, awareness and training of staff Specialized staff in first aid and emergency response

6 Technical verification of the facilities conducted by accredited bodies Evacuation drills for each building, at least once a year, including the crèches Audit of compliance The Institute for Transuranium Elements in Karlsruhe has formally received the OHSAS certification in 2008 and The internal application of these standards by the European Commission in other sites 12 includes the guidelines contained in paragraph 4.5.5, "Internal Audit". The internal audits of the Prevention System of the European Commission premises in the member States conclude, among other positive findings, a very low figure of accidents, with frequency and gravity index much lower than in other third-sector organizations. According to the OHSAS philosophy of "continuous improvement", the audit reports also make some recommendations. The proposed improvements are a key element in the development of the subsequent Annual Prevention Plan. [ 12 ] Calvo Alonso-Cortés, Antonio. Conclusiones de un audit interno OHSAS en la Comisión Europea. Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Occupational Risk Prevention ORP 2009, Santiago de Chile, 26 November 2009.

7 CONCLUSIONS The Prevention Management System of the European Commission administration can be summarized in the following points: In terms of prevention of occupational risks, the European Commission has, in addition to their political roles, the liability arising from their status as employers of several thousand workers. The EU Staff Regulations provide, a Prevention Management System at least equivalent to the minimum requirements of the European directives on the matter. The European Commission has adopted a harmonized system of Prevention management for its staff delegating, to a limited number of Directors and Directors- General, prevention responsibilities at three different levels: Adoption, implementation and audit of the rules. For the premises placed in the Member States, the Preventive management system is based on European and national laws and, for practical purposes, on the OHSAS standards, elaborated by fifty international standardization and certification bodies. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I have to recognise the trust of the European Commission giving me, for five years, the responsibility of the Prevention Management System for its staff and of the audit of its implementation by the technical services. I especially thank the complete and necessary support from my hierarchy in the exercise of this function and, once completed my task, its authorisation for publishing this summary.

8 REFERENCES [1] Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community, signed at Rome, 25 March [2] Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, signed at Lisbon, 13 December [3] Regulation No 31 (EEC), 11 (EAEC), laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community. Official Journal 45, 14 June1962. [4] Consolidated version of the Treaty of Lisbon: Official Journal C 115 of 9 May [5] Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work, Official Journal L 183 of 29 June [6] Commission decision [C/2006/1623], establishing a harmonised policy for health and safety at work for all Commission staff, 26 April [7] Commission decision [2003/523/EC], establishing the Office for infrastructure and logistics in Brussels, 06 November Official Journal L 183 of 22 July [8] Commission decision [2003/524/EC], establishing the Office for infrastructure and logistics in Luxemburg, 06 November Official Journal L 183 of 22 July [9] Decision (2008)3248 of Director-General of Personnel and Administration, 22 April [10] Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Requirements. British Standards Institution, 31 July [11] Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Guidelines for the implementation of OHSAS 18001:2007. British Standards Institution, 30 November [12] Calvo Alonso-Cortés, Antonio. Conclusiones de un audit interno OHSAS en la Comisión Europea. Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Occupational Risk Prevention ORP 2009, Santiago de Chile, 26 November 2009.

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