Council Directive 98/24/EC of 7 April 1998 on the protection of the health of workers from risks related to chemical agents at work (fourteenth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC)
EU / April 1998 / May 2001
Directive, to be implemented by all EU Member States according to the subsidiary principle and their national conditions. Individual directive in the frame of the OSH Framework Directive 89/391.
Establishing "minimum requirements for the protection of workers from risks arising, or likely to arise, to their safety and health from the effects of chemical agents that are present at the workplace or as a result of any work activity that may generate such chemical agents."
Specific protection and prevention measures
1. The employer shall ensure that the risk from a hazardous chemical agent to the safety and health of workers at work is eliminated or reduced to a minimum.
2. In applying paragraph 1, substitution shall by preference be undertaken, whereby the employer shall avoid the use of a hazardous chemical agent by replacing it with a chemical agent or process which, under its condition of use, is not hazardous or less hazardous to workers’ safety and health, as the case may be.
Where the nature of the activity does not permit risk to be eliminated by substitution, the employer shall ensure that the risk is reduced to a minimum by application of protection and prevention measures, consistent with the assessment of the risk. Determination and assessment of risk of hazardous chemical agents should be made as presented in Article 4.
Substitution is defined as first priority; all Member States have to follow this principle in their national legislation. Substitution is stated as a general demand; there are no concrete measures foreseen to stop the application of less effective and less prioritized risk reduction measures.
Council Directive 98/24/EC of 7 April 1998 on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work (fourteenth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) - english website with access to the document in various languages.
TRGS 600 Substitution: Technical rules for hazardous substances – substitution can be downloaded free of charge at Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) website
COM(2004) 819 (pdf): Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee concerning the Guidelines of a non-binding nature for implementing certain provisions of Directive 98/24/EC of the Council on the protection of the health and safety of workers form the risks related to chemical agents at work
Last update: 24.06.2019