Nepsi good practice guide
NEPSI is the acronym for the ‘ European Network for Silica’ formed by the Employee and Employer European sectoral associations. They have signed the Social Dialogue ‘Agreement on Workers’ Health Protection Through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products Containing it’ on the 25th of April 2006. NEPSI represents 18 industry sectors that include more than 2 million employees and a business exceeding 250 billion euro.
Crystalline silica is an essential component of materials which is used in many products and objects we use every day. It is, for example, hard to imagine houses without bricks, or cars without engines, or cities without roads. Although crystalline silica can be found in various forms everywhere, the inhalation of its fine dust may constitute a workplace hazard. Considering the possibility to control such exposure, industries concerned by exposures to respirable crystalline silica have agreed on appropriate and credible measures for the improvement of working conditions.
The NEPSI industry sector organizations and their counterpart trade union federations developed a good practice guide. They did this together with experts from national health institutes from the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. The good practice guide consists of two parts. The first part gives essential information about respirable crystalline silica, the second part contains a range of task guidance which describes good practice techniques for various common and specific tasks.The general guidance sheets apply to all industries that are signatories of the Agreement on Workers’ Health Protection through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products containing it. The specific task sheets relate to tasks concerning only a limited number of industry sectors.
Besides the good practice guide, PIMEX videos have been developed to illustrate the effectiveness of the NEPSI good practices in the reduction of occupational exposure to dust.
The objective of the guide and the PIMEX videos is to give producers and users of products and materials that contain crystalline silica guidance on the practical application of a program to manage respirable crystalline silica and guidance on the safe use of crystalline silica containing products in the workplace.
The NEPSI Agreement aims at
- protecting the health of Employees
- minimizing exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica by applying the Good Practices
- increasing knowledge about potential health effects of RCS and about Good Practices
- Sectoral commitment to implement and to report KPIs: each signatory sector provides every two year a series of indicators on their application of the Agreement, see http://www.nepsi.eu/reporting