Lead battery industry backs EU review of workplace health and safety rules

by John Shepherd
ILA regulatory affairs director Dr Steve Binks. Photo: ILA
Lead battery industry leaders have welcomed EU plans to review workplace health and safety rules – including proposals to update limits on exposure to lead and cobalt used in battery production and renewable energy technology.

EU jobs and social rights commissioner, Nicolas Schmit, said yesterday that the European Commission would review existing limits of certain hazardous substances, with a "focus on lead and cobalt as well as on asbestos”, as part of the EU’s Strategic Framework on Health & Safety at Work up to 2027.

The International Lead Association (ILA) told World Battery News that it had asked the Commission to prioritise a review of "outdated EU limits” in 2017.
ILA regulatory affairs director, Dr Steve Binks, said the ILA supported "ambitious health and safety standards for EU workers” and is looking forward to working with the Commission on creating "a safer and healthier workplace for all”.

Material stewardship

"Our industry is dedicated to the safe management of lead by setting continuous improvement targets and sharing best practice to reduce risks of occupational exposure,” Binks said.
"This commitment is exemplified by our successful voluntary blood lead reduction programme, which has delivered a 65% reduction in the number of employees in ILA member companies with a blood lead exceeding our current target of 20 µg Pb/dL compared to our 2013 baseline.”

Under the ILA’s seven ‘material stewardship guiding principles’, Binks said ILA members continued to be committed to responsible lead manufacturing and battery recycling, "placing environmental, health and safety excellence at the heart of their operations”.

Related articles in our archive: