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C 229 E/62 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.9.

2002

The 1996 legislative decree was recently amended by Article 1a of Law No 1 of 8 January 2002. This
article allows specialists in preventive health and medicine and specialists in legal/insurance medicine to
assume the function of the competent medical officer for the purposes of the protection of the health and
safety of workers at the workplace, hitherto the preserve of doctors specialising in occupational medicine,
as required by legislative decrees 626/94 and 242/96.

In Italy professional training and the related academic disciplines for obtaining specialist qualifications in a
particular area of medicine are governed by law (L 245/90) and ministerial decree (DM of 11 May 1995,
OJ 19 July 1995 No 88), which do not require specific training in occupational health for doctors
specialising in preventive health and medicine or legal/insurance medicine (the latter is not even
harmonised at European level). Does the Commission not consider that Article 1a referred to above is
clearly incompatible with the basic principle that the European Union aims to maintain high level of
protection of the health of its citizens, with the 1962 EEC recommendation to the Member States, and
with the other consolidated recommendations of the relevant international organisations (ILO, ICOH,
WHO) which have always and continue to require explicitly and exclusively a specialist in occupational
medicine for the purposes of the health protection of workers?

In view of the fact that doctors specialising in preventive health and medicine and doctors specialising in
legal medicine do not have adequate training, and hence skills, does the European Commission not
consider that the application of Article 1a referred to above may pose a threat to the protection of the
health and safety of workers?

Does the Commission not consider it necessary for those practising a medical specialisation to have full
and thorough professional training?

Supplementary joint answer


to Written Questions E-0189/02 and E-0890/02
given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission
(4 June 2002)

The Commission fully shares the Honourable Member’s view on the importance of persons responsible for
the health monitoring of workers having sufficient competence.

The Italian Act No 1 of 8 January 2002, under which Decree-Law No 402 of 12 November 2001 acquires
the status of a law proper, contains among other things the following provision: ‘Article 1a (amending
legislative decree No 626 of 19 September 1994) ; 1. In Article 2 paragraph 1 (d) No 1, the words’or
hygiene and preventive medicine, or forensic and insurance medicine‘shall be inserted after the words’or in
occupational medicine‘.’

The Act of 8 January 2002 thus adds doctors specialising in hygiene, forensics and insurance medicine to
the wording of Article 2 (d) of legislative decree No 626/94, under which a ‘doctor with competence’ is
understood to be:

a doctor with one of the following qualifications:


; specialisation in occupational medicine, or preventive medicine for workers and psychotech-
niques, or industrial toxicology, or industrial hygiene, or occupational hygiene, or occupational
medicine, or other fields indicated, where appropriate, in a decree from the Minister for Health in
consultation with the minister responsible for universities and scientific and technological
research;
; doctorate in or qualification to teach occupational medicine, or preventive medicine for workers
and psychotechniques, or industrial toxicology, or industrial hygiene, or physiology and
occupational hygiene;
; authorisation as provided for in Article 55 of legislative decree No 277 of 15 August 1991.

Legislative decree No 626/94 of 19 September 1997 transposes into Italian law a number of Directives
concerning the health and safety of workers, in particular Directives 89/391/EEC (1), 89/654/EEC (2), 89/
655/EEC (3), 89/656/EEC (4), 90/269/EEC (5), 90/270/EEC (6), 90/394/EEC (7) as amended and 90/679/EEC (8)
as amended.

Some of these Directives provide for measures ensuring appropriate health monitoring of workers to be
laid down by the Member States in line with their national laws and/or practice (e.g. Article 14(1) of
Directive 90/394/EEC), and practical recommendations for the health monitoring of workers are to be
26.9.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 229 E/63

found in the Annex to these Directives (e.g. Annex II to Directive 90/394/EEC). In particular, it is stated in
this Annex that ‘health monitoring of workers must be carried out in accordance with the principles and
practices of occupational medicine; …’.

None of these Directives on health and safety at work specifically state that health monitoring of workers
must be carried out by a doctor specialising in occupational medicine. Some of the Directives merely
stipulate that this health monitoring must be carried out in accordance with the principles and practices of
occupational medicine, which does not necessarily mean that the person concerned must be an
occupational medicine specialist.

The Directives concerned thus leave it up to the Member States to decide what qualifications are required
at national level in order to carry out the task of health monitoring of workers.

The Directives on health and safety at work require that the Member States ensure ‘relevant health
surveillance’ in accordance with national laws and/or practice. There is no indication that monitoring by
persons other than doctors specialising in occupational medicine would not be ‘relevant’.

In addition, Recommendation No 831 adopted by the Commission on 20 July 1962 should be mentioned,
in which the Commission encouraged the Member States to harmonise their legislation and their teaching
of occupational medicine (9). In this connection, the Commission would draw the Honourable Member’s
attention to the fact that recommendations are not binding. The Member States adhere to them
voluntarily.

Detailed analysis of the relevant Italian legal provisions has thus not revealed any infringement of
Community law.

(1) Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the
safety and health of workers at work, OJ L 183, 29.6.1989.
(2) Council Directive 89/654/EEC of 30 November 1989 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for
the workplace (first individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC), OJ L 393,
30.12.1989.
(3) Council Directive 89/655/EEC of 30 November 1989 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for
the use of work equipment by workers at work (second individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of
Directive 89/391/EEC), OJ L 393, 30.12.1989.
(4) Council Directive 89/656/EEC of 30 November 1989 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for
the use by workers of personal protective equipment at the workplace (third individual Directive within the
meaning of Article 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/EEC), OJ L 393, 30.12.1989.
(5) Council Directive 90/269/EEC of 29 May 1990 on the minimum health and safety requirements for the manual
handling of loads where there is a risk particularly of back injury to workers (fourth individual Directive within the
meaning of Article 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/EEC), OJ L 156, 21.6.1990.
(6) Council Directive 90/270/EEC of 29 May 1990 on the minimum safety and health requirements for work with
display screen equipment (fifth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/EEC),
OJ L 156, 21.6.1990.
(7) Council Directive 90/394/EEC of 28 June 1990 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to
carcinogens at work (sixth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/EEC),
OJ L 196, 26.7.1990.
(8) Council Directive 90/679/EEC of 26 November 1990 on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure
to biological agents at work (seventh individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/
EEC), OJ L 374, 31.12.1990.
(9) OJ B 80, 31.8.1962.

(2002/C 229 E/070) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0207/02


by Isidoro Sánchez García (ELDR) to the Commission

(30 January 2002)

Subject: Design criteria employed for Euro notes

With specific reference to the outermost regions, what criteria did the European monetary authority
employ when designing the map of the European Union featured on the Euro notes? Why are certain
islands, e.g. La Gomera and El Hierro, which form part of the Canaries, missing?