Brazil is conducting a general review of Regulatory Standard # 18 (NR-18), of the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MTE), relating to the work conditions and environment in the construction industry. This update is necessary in view of the changes in technology and processes experienced by the construction industry in recent years and also to the large number of infrastructure projects carried out in Brazil ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Civil construction in Brazil has a high record of fatal accidents related to work at height. To combat the problem, the MTE implemented Regulatory Standard # 35 (NR-35), which establishes minimum requirements and protective measures for working at height, encompassing the phases of planning, organisation and execution, to ensure the safety of workers directly or indirectly involved in this activity. The NR-35 is undergoing improvement and still needs further work, especially in the technical aspects of the anchorage devices and means of access. The European experience in work at height is considered an important source of information for the improvement of NR-35. MTE technicians believe that learning about best practices within the EU can help to shape rules to reduce the number of Brazilians who are injured due to falls during work at height, in addition to stimulating the competitiveness of companies by providing cost reductions and the alignment of Brazil’s legislation to best practices worldwide. This action includes a study on European normative acts relating to work at height in construction and in ports, as well as on anchorage devices and means of access. Brazilian normative acts related to the subject will also be surveyed. As a follow-up to the study, there will be a mission to Europe with the participation of representatives from the Brazilian government, workers and employers. In the end, a seminar will be held in Brazil to present the findings of the study and of the mission.
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