Indicative Occupational Exposure Limits (EU)

Directive 2017/164/EU – indicative occupational exposure limit values of 31 January 2017 establishing a fourth list of indicative occupational exposure limit values pursuant to Council Directive 98/24/EC, and amending Commission Directives 91/322/EEC, 2000/39/EC and 2009/161/EU (Text with EEA relevance) – is in force.

The Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists have the third list of indicative occupational exposure limit values. The fourth list is being added shortly.

The fourth list is based on Council Directive 98/24/EC concerning the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents in the workplace. This was the case for previous indicative lists.

Indicative occupational exposure limit values (IOELV) are health-based, non-binding values, derived from the most recent scientific data available and taking into account the availability of reliable measurement techniques.

For any chemical agent for which an IOELV has been set at European Union level, Member States are required to establish a national occupational exposure limit value. They also are required to take into account the European Union limit value, determining the nature of the national limit value in accordance with national legislation and practice.

Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 21 August 2018 at the latest.

Regarding the limit values for nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, Member States will be able to benefit from a transitional period ending at the latest on 21 August 2023.

The 2017 Directive establishes limit values for the following chemical agents:

Manganese and inorganic manganese compounds (as manganese)

Glycerol trinitrate

Carbon tetrachloride; Tetrachloromethane


Acetic acid

Hydrogen cyanide (as cyanide)

Methylene chloride; Dichloromethane

Vinylidene chloride; 1,1-Dichloroethylene

Tetraethyl orthosilicate

Acrylic acid; Prop-2-enoic acid


Bisphenol A; 4,4′-Isopropylidenediphenol

Diphenyl ether


1,4-Dichlorobenzene; p-Dichlorobenzene

Acrolein; Acrylaldehyde; Prop-2-enal

Methyl formate



Ethyl acetate

Sodium cyanide (as cyanide)

Potassium cyanide (as cyanide)

Diacetyl; Butanedione

Carbon monoxide

Calcium dihydroxide

Calcium oxide

Sulphur dioxide

Lithium hydride

Nitrogen monoxide

Nitrogen dioxide

Terphenyl, hydrogenated

Skin absorption feature of ten substances is noted.

Of the 33 substances above, 4 were already listed in the Annex to Commission Directive 91/322/EEC, one was listed in the Annex to Commission Directive 2000/39/EC and one in the Annex to Commission Directive 2009/161/EU. The establishment of new indicative limit values was recommended by SCOEL for the above six substances listed in the Annex to this Directive. They will be deleted from the Annexes to the previous directives on 21 August 2018.

The further lists on indicative occupational exposure limit values (in Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists):

• Commission Directive 91/322/EEC establishing indicative limit values

• Commission Directive 2000/39/EC establishing a first list of indicative occupational exposure limit values

• Commission Directive 2006/15/EC establishing a second list of indicative occupational exposure limit values

• Commission Directive 2009/161/EU establishing a third list of indicative occupational exposure limit values

UK – the EH40 list is reissuedhere (and will be added shortly to Registers and Law Checklists)

Ditto the Ireland list is updated, and Continental European Registers and Law Checklists will have their current lists updated.

HSE ‘Helping Great Britain Work Well’ (UK)

Britain’s Health and Safety Executive has a new 2016 health and safety system strategy  – it’s called ‘Helping Great Britain work well’.

The new strategy is located here. Subscribers to Cardinal Environment Tailored EHS Legislation Registers should email me if they wish this to be added to OHS Register 101 in their websystem. The strategy does not supplant the existing enforcement approaches.

Six strategic themes : key points

  • There needs to be broader ownership of health and safety
  • It is important to highlight and tackle the costs of work-related ill health
  • Wider recognition is needed of the business benefits that come with proportionate approaches to risk
  • Too many SMEs are still unaware that straightforward advice and simple guidance is available that can help them manage their health and safety responsibilities
  • We all need to horizon scan and ‘design-in’ effective risk management of new or emerging technologies and business modelsThere are benefits for Great Britain and British industries by promoting our health and safety approach around the world

NICE Guidelines (UK)

NICE is the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. It is an independent organisation, set up by the Government in 1999, that provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. 

NICE Guidelines (NG13) published June 2015, last updated March 2016, covers how to improve the health and wellbeing of employees, with a focus on organisational culture and the role of line managers.

In March 2016, NICE added recommendations about older employees, aged over 50 in paid or unpaid work.

NG13 is here. Subscribers to Cardinal Tailored EHS Legislation Registers should email me if they wish this guidelines to be added to their OHS Registers, specifying which OHS Register.

HFC Substitutes (Cool Technologies)

HFCs are being phased out.

A wide variety of environmentally superior and technologically proven HCFC and HFC alternatives are available to meet cooling needs.

The Cool Technologies website includes a sampling of companies using natural alternatives in a variety of applications. It was created to demonstrate there is already a wide array of safe and commercially proven technologies available to meet nearly all those human needs formerly met by fluorinated refrigerants.

Cool Technologies is found here.

New CITB Competence in Construction Research Report

The Competence in Construction Research Report was commissioned by the UK Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), with the support of Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The report highlights the need for:
* agreement on an industry-wide competence framework to bring much-needed clarity
* a wider understanding of competence at all levels
* further work to define a more-effective means of presenting evidence of competence

The report, which builds on the influential 2011 publication Routes to Competence, finds that the construction industry has made significant progress in health and safety over the past 14 years. It concludes that:

* it is now time to expand understanding of competence in all aspects of construction work – job role, health and safety, human factors, and managerial and organisational capability
* training on its own is not sufficient to be confident of competence – It must be supported by verification and refreshed at appropriate intervals.
* the competence of even the most highly-expert individual can be undermined if elements of managerial or organisational competence are lacking.

Further information, including the report itself is found here.

Biomass Energy Calculator (UK)

Considering using North American woody biomass for renewable electricity production? From next year, generators who fail to comply with UK government sustainability criteria will lose financial support.

A scientific calculator has been developed by the UK government Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that investigates the impact on carbon emissions of biomass sourced from North America to produce electricity.

Bioenergy is expected to contribute significantly to the UK’s target for renewable sources to represent at least 15% of total energy consumption by 2020 (as required by the EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC). The government’s Bioenergy Strategy published in 2012 made clear only bioenergy from sustainable sources should be used.

It has been estimated that by 2020, between 3.4 and 7.5% of the UK’s projected energy consumption will be generated from biomass, and the UK will require 12.9 to 23.5 Modt/y of solid biomass for energy, of which 9.0 to 16.0 Modt/y will be used for electricity generation.

In addition, under the Climate Change Act of 2008, the UK must reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 80% on 1990 levels, by 2050.

LCA (life cycle analysis) can be used to estimate the GHG emissions associated with the delivered bioenergy.

DECC’s sustainability criteria for biomass feedstocks supported under the Renewable Obligation (RO) (published August 2013) states that by 2020, electricity from solid biomass subsidised by the RO must be proven to generate electricity with a GHG emission intensity under 200 kg CO2e/MWh1 (DECC, 2013a), calculated based on the LCA methodology set out in Annex V of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC).

This intensity is lower than that of electricity generated from fossil fuels in the UK (e.g. ~ 437 kg CO2e/MWh for electricity from natural gas, ~ 1018 kg CO2e/MWh for electricity from coal; DUKES, 2013; DEFRA, 2013), but higher than other renewables (e.g. 3 to 41 kg CO2e/MWh for electricity from wind; Turnconi et al., 2013).

The Renewable Energy Directive LCA methodology considers the emissions from the cultivation, harvesting, processing and transport of the biomass feedstocks. It also includes direct land use change where the land use has changed category since 2008, e.g. from forest to annual crop land, grassland to annual crop land. However, the Renewable Energy Directive LCA methodology does not account for changes in the carbon stock of a forest, foregone carbon sequestration of land, or indirect impacts on carbon stocks in other areas of land.

DECC now has the following core resources available:

1) Report – life cycle impacts of biomass electricity production in 2020

This is a Report that aims to:

* quantify the woody biomass resources that are likely to be available for pellet production from forests in North America by 2020;

* estimate the GHG emission intensities (in kg CO2e/MWh delivered energy) of using these resources for electricity generation in the UK, accounting for the impacts omitted by the EU RED methodology (emissions or sequestration from carbon stock changes on the land, foregone carbon sequestration, and indirect impacts); and

* estimate the Energy Input Requirements (EIR) (in MWh energy input per MWh delivered energy) of using these resources for electricity generation in the UK and compare to other electricity generating technologies. The energy input is considered to be energy carriers which are ready for final use, e.g. electricity, diesel, natural gas, fuel oil. The primary energy of the biomass is not included as an energy input in the calculation, just as the energy in the wind, sunshine, or nuclear fuel is not included in the Energy Input Requirement for wind, solar and nuclear technologies.

The Report is here.

2) Calculator – BEAC (Biomass Emissions and Counterfactual) Model – the calculator itself, which can be used by developers to help make sure they are sourcing their biomass sustainably.

BEAC is here.