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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 364 E/15

(2001/C 364 E/016) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0698/01

by Eurig Wyn (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(8 March 2001)

Subject: Physical Agents Directive

Could the Commission confirm whether it does intend to introduce the Physical Agents Directive?

Would the Commission agree that introducing this directive would place unreasonable requirements on
farm workers if new limits were placed on vehicle use on farms on health and safety grounds?

(2001/C 364 E/017) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0968/01

by Eurig Wyn (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(30 March 2001)

Subject: Restricted use of farm vehicles

Can the Commission confirm that the proposed Physical Agents Directive will restrict vehicle use on farms
to as little as two or three hours a day?

Does the Commission agree that these proposals are impractical for the majority of farmers?

Does the Commission also agree that these proposals do not take into account the realities of agriculture,
in particular at harvest time, and also the difference in size of different farm holdings and therefore
differing needs with regards to farm vehicles and the lengths of time for which they are used?

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-0698/01 and E-0968/01
given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(8 May 2001)

The Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on the minimum health and safety requirements
regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents in December 1992 (1). Further
to the opinions of the Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee, the Commission submitted an
amended proposal in July 1994 (2).

The main characteristic of the proposal had been to provide a general framework for all categories of
physical agents in order to establish a clear and coherent prevention strategy capable of protecting the
health and safety of workers exposed to these agents.

The proposal deals with those physical agents for which there is sufficient scientific evidence for
Community action  noise (risks to hearing); vibrations (risks to the hand, arm and whole body);
electromagnetic fields and optical radiation (risks to health from induced currents in the body, shock and
burn hazards and from absorption of thermal energy).

The Commission’s proposal does not limit the use of vehicles on farms nor does it specify emission limit
values for machines.

In addition, the socio-economic impact study made by the Commission at the time of proposal does not
show any unreasonable burden imposed on farmers when applying the prevention measures specified.

(1) OJ C 77, 18.3.1993.

(2) COM(94) 284 final.