Occupational safety and health: Commission adopts EU strategic framework on health and safety at work 2021-2027

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how crucial 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. In this context, the Commission is renewing its commitment to update occupational safety and health rules. The Commission has adopted yesterday, on 28 June, the EU strategic framework on health and safety at work 2021-2027. It sets out the key actions needed to improve workers’ health and safety over the coming years. This new strategy focuses on three cross-cutting objectives, namely managing change brought by green, digital and demographic transitions as well as changes to the traditional work environment, improving prevention of accidents and illnesses, and increasing preparedness for any potential future crises. Executive Vice President for an Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “The EU’s legislation on occupational safety and health is essential for protecting almost 170 million workers, peoples’ lives and the functioning of our societies. The world of work is changing, driven by green, digital and demographic transitions. Healthy and safe work environments also reduce costs for people, businesses and society as whole. That is why maintaining and improving protection standards for workers remains a priority for an economy that works for people. We need more EU action to make our workplaces fit for the future.” Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “Principle 10 of the European Pillar of Social Rights gives workers the right to a high level of protection of their health and safety at work. As we build back better from the crisis, this principle should be at the centre of our action. We must commit to a ‘vision zero’ approach when it comes to work-related deaths in the EU. Being healthy at work is not only about our physical state, it is also about our mental health and well-being.” The joint press conference by Executive Vice President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Schmit can be watched again on EbS. A press releaseQ&A and factsheet are available online.