EU | COVID-19 | Legal Watch: European Union

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COVID-19: Recommendations to protect construction workers

 

In a communication dated April 17, 2020, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has pointed out the publication of a series of guidelines by the International Safety and Health Construction Coordinators Organization (ISHCCO) intended to protect workers on construction sites from pandemic hazards. In particular, the ISHCCO has made three recommendations on the employers concerned. First, employers should make sure to identify and inhibit the presence of employees out of risk zones or being infected. Secondly, there should be enough washbasins for workers, equipped with water, soap, paper towels and skin care. Thirdly, employers should ensure that staff rooms are large enough to maintain the recommended distance between persons. At the same time, the ISHCCO has provided further information on the wearing of respiratory masks, and has also suggested measures of prevention to be applied on construction sites where it is not possible to ensure the minimum recommended distance.

 

Source: OSHA website, 17 April 2020, ISHCCO recommendations to protect construction workers from COVID-19 (the ISHCCO guidelines are available in 5 different languages)


COVID-19 : EU coordinated action to combat the pandemic and its consequences

 

On April 17, 2020, the European Parliament published a resolution on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The Parliament made several suggestions to improve the European union organization to deal with crises such as the current health crisis. For example it asked for the creation of a European Health Response Mechanism to better prepare and respond in a common and coordinated way to any type of health or sanitary crisis that emerges at EU level and to further strengthen instruments such as RescEU to ensure a truly common, coordinated and effective response at EU level. They want to enhance the prevention in addition to have to think about building a stock of common equipment, materials and medicines. The Commission has to organize an exit strategy with large-scale testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) for the largest possible number of citizens. For the European Parliament, contact-tracing applications on mobile (to warn people if they were clode to an infected person) may not be obligatory and the generated date can’t be stored in centralised databases. The details of these schemes will be published. Finally, the Parliament insisted that corporate human rights and environmental due diligence are necessary conditions in order to prevent and mitigate future crises and ensure sustainable value chains.

 

Source: European Parliament resolution of 17 April 2020 on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences (2020/2616(RSP))


ADR – Update of Competent authorities and some notified restrictions

 

By a notification on 14 April 2020 to the UNECE, Belarus notified that restrictions on movement of dangerous goods traffic has been established in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19. During the outbreak, drivers engaged in transport of goods must travel along the allowed roads (republican roads) listed in the appendix using the shortest route to leave the country, except for unloading, transhipment of cargo or due to an accident. On the other hand, Spain and Slovakia have notified to the UNECE and the Contracting Parties on 15 April 2020 the update of the data of their competent authorities for ADR.

 

Source: UNECE website, 14 and 15 April 2020, Country information (Competent Authorities, Notifications), European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road

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