What is the added value to become a NEPSI Signatory?

NEPSI’, the European Network on Silica, has facilitated the implementation of good practices in dust reduction measures and also monitored the application of the Agreement through five biennial reports of key performance indicators.

The Commission has currently not planned to publish guidelines on the definition of RCS entry or on the implementation of the Directive. Therefore, the Multi-Sectoral Social Dialogue Agreement on Workers' Health Protection through the Good handling and Use of Crystalline Silica, as mentioned in the COM proposal in Recital 6, "complements the current proposal as it provides guidance for, and stimulates preventive measures by employers in reducing exposure". This means that the members of NEPSI should have already a wealth of information and guidelines available on how to handle the substance in line with the provisions of the Directive, which can be shared and used by other non NEPSI Signatories.

Social dialogue is a fundamental component of the European social model that gained full recognition in the Treaty with the Amsterdam reform. The social partners (representatives of management and labour) are thus able to contribute actively to designing European social policy.

This NEPSI Agreement aims at:

- protection of health of Employees and other individuals occupationally exposed at the workplace to Respirable crystalline silica from materials / products / raw materials containing crystalline silica.

- minimisation of exposure to Respirable crystalline silica at the workplace by applying the Good Practices stipulated herein in order to prevent, eliminate or reduce occupational health risks related to Respirable crystalline silica.

- increasing the knowledge about potential health effects of Respirable crystalline silica and about Good Practices.

The NEPSI Agreement is a unique preventive tool to improve workers’ protection on the work floor thanks to the respirable crystalline silica dust reduction measures described in the evolving Good Practice Guide. It incentives sites, companies, even countries, to improve the results of their subsequent NEPSI reporting.