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Health and safety: Commission adopts new decision setting up the Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits

03/03/2014 Health and safety: Commission adopts new decision setting up the Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits

The European Commission has adopted a new decision setting up a Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) for Chemical Agents.

This decision repeals Commission Decision 95/320/EC, which set up SCOEL in 1995.

 

What is SCOEL

SCOEL assists the Commission in evaluating the latest available scientific data to assess the potential for chemicals to affect workers' health.

In particular, it provides recommendations and opinions on priority chemical substances, which are used by the Commission to set limit values for the protection of workers from exposure to chemical risks, as per Directives 98/24/EC and 2004/37/EC.

What is new

The new decision aligns the functioning of SCOEL with the Commission’s rules on expert groups. For this purpose:

  • it establishes a new selection procedure of the members through an open call for expression of interest, to be launched shortly, ensuring the principles of transparency and equal opportunities for highly qualified and specialised scientific experts;
  • it reinforces the continued importance of the ethical principles of excellence, independence and impartiality as the grounds for the functioning of SCOEL;
  • it foresees the granting of special allowances to the members.

Why a new decision?

Although the new decision maintains many of the provisions of the Decision 95/320/EC, substantive amendments have been made. Therefore, in the interest of legal clarity, it was considered more appropriate to repeal and replace the existing decision.


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