EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020

Ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for over 217 million workers in the EU is a strategic goal for the European Commission, working closely with Member States, social partners, and the other EU institutions and bodies. As risks to workers’ health and safety are broadly similar across the EU, there is a clear role for the Union in helping Member States to address such risks more efficiently and in ensuring a level playing-field throughout the EU. This role is explicitly recognised in the LisbonTreaty , which gives the Union shared competence to encourage cooperation between Member States and to adopt directives setting minimum requirements to improve the working environment in order to protect workers’ health and safety. EU action on occupational safety and health (OSH) has been pursued over the years within a strategic policy framework that includes two key components: 1. a comprehensive body of EU legislation covering the most significant occupational risks and providing common definitions, structures and rules that are adapted by Member States to their different national circumstances; and 2. a series of multiannual action programmes between 1978 and 2002, followed by European strategies (covering 2002-06 and 2007-12), to identify priorities and common objectives, provide a framework for coordinating national policies and promote a holistic culture of prevention. As a result of the 2007-12 strategy, 27 Member States have put in place national strategies.