01 April 2003 14:36 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--French trade union Force Ouvriere (FO) has demanded a reform of occupational health and safety legislation after last week’s fatal explosion at the Nitrochimie explosives plant near Lens, northeast France, CNI learned Tuesday.
FO called for a general reform of preventative measures at yesterday’s annual plenary meeting of the Superior Council for the Prevention of Occupational Hazards (CSPRP).
It said the reforms should not be like the "limited and minimalist text" on technological risks drafted following the September 2001 blast at the Grande Paroisse AZF plant in Toulouse, southwest France, in which 30 people were killed.
Following last week’s explosion, when four Nitrochimie workers died, FO has called for an increase in the powers of company health, safety and working conditions committees. It said: "These workforce representatives can no longer be a poor relation to trade union representatives. It is necessary to improve the means available to these representatives, to boost training and to increase the appropriation of hours available to them."
FO also called for comprehensive negotiations with employers’ organisations to establish a health and safety at work agreement.
France’s Employment Minister, Francois Fillon, said: "Legislation is currently being drafted that will draw on the lessons learnt through these tragedies and to avoid future tragedies of a similar nature."
"It will reinforce the role of the workers, the principal victims of these accidents, in the prevention of technological risks," he added.
Fillon added that the government was also tackling the health risks associated with products used in manufacturing and intends to publish research shortly evaluating the risks of chemical agents.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections