EZA MAGAZINE

Occupational safety and health in a changing world of work

The European Commission has adopted the EU strategic framework on health and safety at work 2021-2027.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important occupational health and safety (OSH) is for protecting workers’ health, for the functioning of our society, and for the continuity of critical economic and social activities. The European Commission sets out the key actions needed to improve workers’ health and safety over the coming years.

This strategic framework aims at mobilising EU institutions, Member States, social partners and other relevant stakeholders around common priorities on workers’ health and safety protection. It applies to all relevant parties dealing with health and safety at work (national administrations including labour inspectorates, employers, workers, and other relevant OSH actors) and creates a framework for action, cooperation and exchange.

The Commission will work with Member States and social partners to:
(i) address change in the new world of work;
(ii) improve the prevention of workplace accidents and illnesses in line with the ‘vision zero’ approach; and
(iii) increase preparedness for potential future health crises.

The actions in the strategic framework will be implemented through:

  • strong social dialogue
  • a strengthened evidence based policy-making
  • improved enforcement and monitoring of existing EU legislation
  • awareness-raising
  • mobilising funding to invest into occupational safety and health, including from EU funds like the Recovery and Resilience Facility and Cohesion policy funds

The Commission calls on Member States to update and draw up their national OSH strategies in line with this strategic frameworkb – in cooperation with social partners – to ensure that the new measures are applied on the ground.

The 2023 OSH summit will allow taking stock of progress on this ambitious framework as well as an assessment of adaptation in light of the rapidly changing context.

More details and documents about this framework can be found by: Occupational safety and health in a changing world of work - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion - European Commission (europa.eu)