Pillar 4: Targeting Innovation

Innovations can play an important role in eliminating dangerous substances from the working floor. To make innovations successful and attractive to be adopted, they need to be targeted to meet workplace demands

To support substitution strategies, material innovations (to replace a carcinogen) and technological developments (to promote safe handling and use) need to be adapted to the conditions of the workplaces and be safe(r) by design (Ch. 4.1). A better understanding of how and where process-generated carcinogens are generated (4.2) and to come up with practical solutions is another important project to undertake (Ch. 4.3). 

Challenge 4.1: Bridging the gap

The often existing gap between what is needed for implementation at workplace level (i.e. substitution of carcinogens or, if this is not technically feasible, low-emission design of products and processes) and what innovation from current research provides, can be bridged by linking producers (equipment), researchers, sectors, and other relevant stakeholders and discussing collaboration and bridging solutions under the umbrella of Horizon Europe and European Green Deal.

Challenge 4.2: Process-generated carcinogens

The recently adopted amendments of the carcinogens directive lay down occupational limit values for carcinogens generated by work processes, e.g. diesel engine emissions, respirable crystalline silica dust, wood dust, welding fumes. These carcinogens occur frequently at various workplaces and should be prioritised in a Roadmap Strategy for the upcoming years.

Challenge 4.3: Safe working procedures

‘Safe working procedures’ can come in place as an accepted alternative where substitution is not yet possible and it is somehow difficult to measure exposure to comply with occupational exposure limits. Already in a couple of Member States, we notice positive effects for businesses to comply, using these procedures and thereby creating a healthier workplace. For businesses, they need to be practical and clear to implement. The Roadmap will gather results, bring together stakeholders and promote the development of safe working procedures.

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