News Details

MEUSAC article published on Voice of the Workers Weekly

16 February 2017

EU Occupational Safety and Health


Over the last 25 years, the EU has been a front-runner in setting high standards of protection for workers in terms of health and safety risks at work on its territory, and has promoted high levels of protection also in third countries. Occupational safety and health policy is contributing to the objective of improving the safety and health of workers in the EU. However, there are different trends in individual Member States. The percentage of EU workers reporting at least one health problem caused or made worse by work decreased by nearly 10%.


In January 2017, the European Commission published a Communication which addresses the modernisation of the EU occupational safety and health legislation and policy. It includes statistics related to dealing with dangerous chemicals at work. For instance, it estimates that at least 32 million workers are exposed to carcinogens at work. The dossier also assesses the situation within SMEs and states that 1 in 3 microenterprises does not assess workplace risks, while 40% of companies need more information on how to assess psychological factors.


In this Communication, the European Commission has stated that it will address outdated provisions in existing Directives within two years.


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