Updated rules on occupational safety and health at work

Article published in Voice of the Workers Weekly – 15.07.2021

The European Commission has recently adopted the EU strategic framework on health and safety at work 2021-2027, with particular attention to the protection of workers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The strategic framework updates OSH rules by setting out the key actions needed to improve workers’ health and safety over the coming years and focuses on three key objectives:

1. Anticipating and managing change in the new world of work
Review of the Workplaces Directive and the Display Screen Equipment Directive, update of protective limits on asbestos and lead and, a new initiative that assesses emerging issues related to workers’ mental health and puts forward guidance for action.

2. Improving prevention of work-related diseases and accidents
Addressing the elimination of work-related deaths in the EU, and updates EU rules on hazardous chemicals to combat cancer, reproductive, and respiratory diseases.

3. Increasing preparedness for possible future health threats
Development of emergency procedures and guidance for the rapid deployment, implementation and monitoring of measures in potential future health crises, in close cooperation with public-health actors.

The update of the EU strategic framework on health and safety at work for 2021-2027 implements principle 10 of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

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