December 19, 2019

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occupational safety and health

Improving health and safety at work: Council adopts conclusions

The European Council has adopted conclusions inviting the Commission to present a new EU strategic framework on occupational safety and health (OSH) at work for 2021-2027, and offering the Council’s input into that strategic framework.

European CouncilThe conclusions recognise that some positive results have been achieved, as many member states have adopted national action plans based on the existing framework. The Commission, the member states and social partners are invited to intensify their efforts in the area of the changing world of work, including on:

  • Psychological risks;
  • Work-related accidents and diseases;
  • The inclusion of disabled and older workers.

In particular, the Council states the following in order to address the challenge of the changing world of work:

  • Strive to improve the protection of all workers, in particular workers in atypical forms of employment and workers in vulnerable situations aiming to cover and protect them appropriately and adequately by OSH measures;
  • Address the new OSH-related risks of changing work practices and technologies effectively and proactively, also in EU-funded projects and programmes, as appropriate;
  • Build more comprehensively on the evidence and data in order to improve OSH strategies, action plans, legislation and guidance.

Suggestions are also put forward with respect to:

  • SMEs and microenterprises;
  • eliminating hazards and preventing diseases, including cancer resulting from the use of dangerous substances at workplaces;
  • taking account of the gender aspect in OSH and fight against harassment, including sexual harassment, and bullying in workplaces.

The Council invites the Commission to adopt a new EU Strategic Framework on Occupational Safety and Health for the period 2021 – 2027, paying particular attention to the challenges identified in these conclusions.

The full text of the Conclusions can be found here.

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