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R156 Recommendation concerning the Protection of Workers against Occupational Hazards in the Working Environment Due to Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration




Geneva, 20 giugno 1977


The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Sixty-third Session on 1 June 1977, and
Noting the terms of existing international labour Conventions and Recommendations which are relevant and, in particular, the Protection of Workers' Health Recommendation, 1953, the Occupational Health Services Recommendation, 1959, the Radiation Protection Convention and Recommendation, 1960, the Guarding of Machinery Convention and Recommendation, 1963, the Employment Injury Benefits Convention, 1964, the Hygiene (Commerce and Offices) Convention and Recommendation, 1964, the Benzene Convention and Recommendation, 1971, and the Occupational Cancer Convention and Recommendation, 1974, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to working environment: atmospheric pollution, noise and vibration, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation supplementing the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977,
adopts this twentieth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Recommendation, 1977:


I. Scope



1.
(1) To the greatest extent possible, the provisions of the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977, and of this Recommendation should be applied to all branches of economic activity.
(2) Measures should be taken to give self-employed persons protection in the working environment analogous to that provided for in the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977, and in this Recommendation.

II. Preventive and Protective Measures



2.
(1) The competent authority should prescribe the nature, frequency and other conditions of monitoring of air pollution, noise and vibration in the working environment to be carried out on the employer's responsibility.
(2) Special monitoring in relation to the exposure limits referred to in Article 8 of the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977, should be undertaken in the working environment when machinery or installations are first put into use or significantly modified, or when new processes are introduced.
3. It should be the duty of the employer to arrange for equipment used to monitor air pollution, noise and vibration in the working environment to be regularly inspected, maintained and calibrated.
4. The workers and/or their representatives and the inspection services should be afforded access to the records of the monitoring of the working environment and to the records of inspection, maintenance and calibration of apparatus and equipment used therefor.
5. Substances which are harmful to health or otherwise dangerous and which are liable to be airborne in the working environment should, as far as possible, be replaced by less harmful or harmless substances.
6. Processes involving air pollution, noise or vibration in the working environment as defined in Article 3 of the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977, should be replaced as far as possible by processes involving less or no air pollution, noise or vibration.
7. The competent authority should determine the substances of which the manufacture, supply or use in the working environment should be prohibited or made subject to its specific authorisation, requiring compliance with particular measures of prevention or protection.
8.
(1) In appropriate cases the competent authority should approve standards for the emission levels of machinery and installations as regards air pollution, noise and vibration.
(2) Those standards should be attained as appropriate by:
(a) design; or
(b) built-in devices; or
(c) technical measures during installation.
(3) An obligation to ensure compliance with these standards should be placed on the manufacturer or the supplier of the machinery or installations.
9. Where necessary, the manufacture, supply or use of machinery and installations which cannot, in the light of the most recent technical knowledge, meet the requirements of Paragraph 8 of this Recommendation should be made subject to authorisation by the competent authority requiring compliance with other appropriate technical or administrative protective measures.
10. The provisions of Paragraphs 8 and 9 of this Recommendation should not relieve the employer of his obligations in pursuance of Article 6 of the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977.
11. The employer should ensure the regular inspection and maintenance of machines and installations, with respect to the emission of harmful substances, dust, noise and vibration.
12. The competent authority should, when necessary for the protection of the workers' health, establish a procedure for the approval of personal protective equipment.
13. In pursuance of Article 9, subparagraph (b), of the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977, the competent authority should, as appropriate, provide for or promote, in consultation with employers' and workers' organisations, the reduction of exposure through suitable systems or schedules of work organisation, including the reduction of working time without loss of pay.
14. In prescribing measures for the prevention and control of air pollution, noise and vibration in the working environment, the competent authority should take into consideration the most recent codes of practice or guides established by the International Labour Office and the conclusions of meetings of experts which may be convened by the International Labour Office, as well as information from other competent bodies.
15. In prescribing measures for the prevention and control of air pollution, noise and vibration in the working environment, the competent authority should take account of the relationship between the protection of the working environment and the protection of the general environment.

III. Supervision of the Health of Workers



16.
(1) The supervision of the health of workers provided for in Article 11 of the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977, should include, as determined by the competent authority:
(a) a pre-assignment medical examination;
(b) periodic medical examinations at suitable intervals;
(c) biological or other tests or investigations which may be necessary to control the degree of exposure and supervise the state of health of the worker concerned;
(d) medical examinations or biological or other tests or investigations after cessation of the assignment which, when medically indicated, should be made available as of right on a regular basis and over a prolonged period.
(2) The competent authority should require that the results of any such examinations or tests be made available to the worker, and at his request to his personal physician.
17. The supervision provided for in Paragraph 16 of this Recommendation should normally be carried out in working hours and should be free of cost to the worker.
18.
(1) The competent authority should develop a system of records of the medical information obtained in pursuance of Paragraph 16 of this Recommendation and should determine the manner in which it is to operate. Provision should be made for the maintenance of such records for an appropriate period of time to assure their availability, in terms which will permit personal identification by the competent authority only, for epidemiological and other research.
(2) To the extent determined by the competent authority, the records should include information on occupational exposure to air pollution, noise and vibration in the working environment.
19. Where continued assignment to work involving exposure to air pollution, noise or vibration is found to be medically inadvisable, every effort should be made, consistent with national practice and conditions, to provide the worker concerned with suitable alternative employment and to maintain his previous income through social security measures or otherwise.
20. In implementing this Recommendation, the rights of workers under social security or social insurance legislation should not be adversely affected.

IV. Training, Information and Research



21.
(1) The competent authority should take measures to promote the training and information of all persons concerned with respect to the prevention and control of, and protection against, existing and potential occupational hazards in the working environment due to air pollution, noise and vibration.
(2) Representatives of the workers of the undertaking should be informed and consulted in advance by the employer on projects, measures and decisions which are liable to have harmful consequences on the health of workers, in connection with air pollution, noise and vibration in the working environment. (3) Before being assigned to work liable to involve exposure to hazards of air pollution, noise or vibration, workers should be informed by the employer of the hazards, of safety and health measures, and of possibilities of having recourse to medical services.
22.
(1) The competent authority, in close co-operation with employers' and workers' organisations, should promote, assist and stimulate research in the field of prevention and control of hazards in the working environment due to air pollution, noise and vibration, with the assistance, as appropriate, of international and national organisations.
(2) All concerned should be informed of the objectives and results of such research.
23. Employers' and workers' organisations should take positive action to carry out programmes of training and information with respect to the prevention and control of, and protection against, existing and potential occupational hazards in the working environment due to air pollution, noise and vibration.
24. Workers' representatives within undertakings should have the facilities and necessary time, without loss of pay, to play an active role in respect of the prevention and control of, and the protection against, occupational hazards in the working environment due to air pollution, noise and vibration. For this purpose, they should have the right to seek assistance from recognised experts of their choice.
25. Such measures as are necessary should be taken to secure that, in connection with the use at a workplace of a substance liable to be harmful to health or otherwise dangerous, adequate information is available on:
(a) the results of any relevant tests relating to the substance; and
(b) the conditions required to ensure that, when properly used, it is without danger to the health of workers.

V. Measures of Application



26. Each Member should:
(a) by laws or regulations or any other method consistent with national practice and conditions take such steps, including the provision of appropriate penalties, as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of this Recommendation;
(b) provide appropriate inspection services for the purpose of supervising the application of the provisions of this Recommendation, or satisfy itself that appropriate inspection is carried out;
(c) endeavour to do so as speedily as national conditions permit.
27. In giving effect to the provisions of this Recommendation the competent authority should act in consultation with the most representative organisations of employers and workers concerned, and, as appropriate, manufacturers', suppliers' and importers' organisations.
28.
(1) The provisions of this Recommendation which relate to the design, manufacture and supply of machinery and equipment to an approved standard should apply forthwith to newly manufactured machinery and equipment.
(2) The competent authority should, as soon as possible, specify time limits appropriate to their nature for the modification of existing machinery and equipment.


Note:
R97 Recommendation concerning the Protection of the Health of workers in Places of Employment, 25 giugno 1953
R112 Recommendation concerning Occupational Health Services in Places of Employment, 24 giugno 1959
R114 Recommendation concerning the Protection of Workers against Ionising Radiations, 22 giugno 1960
R118 Recommendation concerning the Guarding of Machinery, 25 giugno 1963
R120 Raccomandazione sull’igiene nelle aziende commerciali e negli uffici, 8 luglio 1964
R144 Recommendation concerning Protection against Hazards of Poisoning Arising from Benzene, 23 giugno 1971
R147 Recommendation concerning Prevention and Control of Occupational Hazards caused by Carcinogenic Substances and Agents, 24 giugno 1974

Fonte: ILO