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Today the European Commission has published the Communication relating to an EU strategic framework in the area of occupational safety and health for the next six year. Based on the review of the previous strategy (2007-2012), it defines three challenges to be faced:
- Ensuring that the legislation is better complied with in the Member States, in particular by increasing the capability of micro-enterprises and small enterprises to adopt effective and efficient risk prevention measures,
- Improving the prevention of work-related diseases by attacking existing, new and emerging risks,
- Responding to demographic change.
The Commission proposes meeting these three challenges by developing a series of actions grouped under seven major strategic objectives:
- Reinforcing national strategies,
- Facilitating compliance with the legislation, especially in micro-enterprises and small enterprises,
- Improving monitoring of application of the legislation in the area of occupational safety and health in the Member States,
- Simplifying the existing legislation,
- Responding to ageing of the labour force and to the appearance of new risks and preventing occupational and work-related diseases,
- Improving the collection of statistical data and expanding the information base,
- Improving the coordination of European and international efforts in favour of occupational safety and health and committing itself alongside international organizations,
It may be noted that this is a “strategic framework” and not a strategy as it was for the previous periods, that the target figures for a reduction in occupational injuries have disappeared and that the Communication does not target any risks in particular.
Following the publication of the text, the reaction of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) was not slow coming. According to Józef Niemiec, Deputy Secretary General, this strategic framework is too little, too late.
Read the Communication from the Commission on an EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020
Read the summary note on the new strategic framework on health and safety at work covering 2014-2020