EPF, the European Wood-based Panels Federation and EFBWW, the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers, have signed a landmark agreement on enhanced worker protection known as the European Action Guide. The two partners signed the accord within the context of the European Commission’s “Perspectives and Challenges of the Woodworking Industries in Europe” social dialogue project, on 29 November 2018. The industry trade association and the industry trade union both welcomed this voluntary commitment that ushers in a new level of safety in the workplace, estimated to be introduced up to five years ahead of any possible legislative requirement.
The Action Guide commits the European panel manufacturers to a measurement, control and continuous improvement process that is designed to ensure that worker exposure to formaldehyde is never threatening. Based on the Operation Exposure Limit value that the EU Scientific Committee has recommended (0.3ppm TWA, 0.6ppm STEL) the initiative improves protection via a colour coded zoning system. It was approved by EFBWW in mid-November and by EPF members last week ahead of the joint signing in Lisbon.