NEPSI 2.0.

IMA-Europe is a signatory of the European Social Dialogue “Agreement on Workers’ Health Protection Through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products Containing it” signed on 25 April 2006.

IMA-Europe is in charge of the Secretariat of NEPSi, the European Network for Silica formed by the signatories of the Agreement.

IMA-Europe signed with 15 other industry sectors and their social partners a Social Dialogue Agreement on Workers Health Protection Through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products Containing it in 2006. Together, the signatories form NEPSi, the European Network on Silica, to implement effective protection measures and monitor the application of the Agreement over the years. Through this Agreement, the signatories are committed to control the exposure of workers to dust and to crystalline silica by applying good practices. It is the first and only multisectoral social dialogue agreement signed at European level and published in the Official Journal (OJ C 279, 17.11.2006).

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On 5 October 2018, IMA-Europe released a new publication entitled NEPSI 2.0. “Management Systems Approach Towards NEPSI Implementation”.

As Commissioner Marianne Thyssen highlighted on the occasion of the NEPSI Agreement tenth anniversary: “Setting limit values through EU legislation is instrumental in protecting workers' health but it is the quality of implementation and enforcement that will determine whether lives are saved.”

In light of the newly adopted European Occupational Exposure Limit value adopted for respirable crystalline silica dust in Directive 2017/2398, IMA-Europe Members identified the need of developing a holistic management systems approach to NEPSI in order to improve the quality of implementation of their legal obligations.

NEPSI 2.0. provides guidelines how to integrate NEPSI principles into companies’ H&S management systems. Reference is made to the new occupational health and safety standard ISO45001, but the principles are equally valid for the existing OHSAS 18001 and equivalent systems. The guidance is particularly relevant for companies where no management system exists, since it provides a useful framework to build upon and/or integrate into any existing management system.

NEPSI 2.0. is a prototype which will be first tested by IMA-Europe member companies with a long-term vision to develop a common project with all NEPSI signatories in the future.

The NEPSI 2.0. guidance document is available here.