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Health and safety at work - Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits

The Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) was set up in 1995 by the Commission to evaluate the potential health effects of occupational exposure to chemicals.

The Committee

  • directly supports Union regulatory activity in the field of occupational safety and health;
  • develops high quality comparative analytical knowledge
  • ensures that Commission proposals, decisions and policy relating to the protection of workers’ health and safety are based on sound scientific evidence.

The Committee assists the Commission, in particular, in evaluating the latest available scientific data and in recommending occupational exposure limits for the protection of workers from chemical risks, to be set at Union level pursuant to Council Directive 98/24/EC and to the European Parliament and of the Council Directive 2004/37/EC .

The Committee does this through the preparation of health-based scientific recommendations for the Commission which are used to underpin regulatory initiatives on Occupational Exposure Limit Values (OELVs) for chemicals in the workplace. During this procedure draft recommendations from SCOEL undergo a stakeholder consultation to allow interested parties to submit comments and/or further data.

The 21 members of SCOEL are highly qualified, specialized, independent experts selected on the basis of objective criteria. They are appointed in their personal capacity and provide the Commission with Recommendations and Opinions that are necessary for the development of EU policy on workers protection.

SCOEL is regulated by the Commission Decision 2014/113/EU of the 3rd of March 2014, which aligns its functioning with the Commission’s rules on expert groups.

The appointment of the members for the current term of office of SCOEL was based on an open call for expression of interest .This was launched by the Commission and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on the 21st of October 2014.

Activities and documents