Proponents of making European employers liable for workers’ exposure to sunshine have suffered a setback at the European Parliament. A coalition of conservatives, liberals and nationalists comfortably won more than enough votes needed to amend the Optical Radiation Directive.
This means each member state keeps the prerogative to decide whether employers should have to protect builders, farm labourers and waiters working outdoors from the sun’s harmful radiation. Socialists and Greens had argued that the EU legislation was vital to cut skin cancer rates. But the right said it was unreasonable and would over-burden business. The directive aims to protect workers from exposure to natural and artificial forms of radiation that can damage eyes and skin. A conciliation committee will now work on modifying the defeated draft.