European Commission adopts new strategic framework on health and safety at work

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 by adopting 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.

Three key objectives: change, prevention and preparedness

The strategic framework focuses on the following key objectives for the coming years:

  • Anticipating and managing change in the new world of work: To ensure safe and healthy workplaces during the digital, green and demographic transitions, the Commission will review the Workplaces Directive and the Display Screen Equipment Directive and update protective limits on asbestos and lead. It will prepare an EU-level initiative related to mental health at work that assesses emerging issues related to workers’ mental health and puts forward guidance for action.
  • Improving prevention of work-related diseases and accidents: This strategic framework will promote a ‘vision zero’ approach to eliminate work-related casualties in the EU. The Commission will also update EU rules on hazardous chemicals to combat cancer, reproductive, and respiratory diseases.
  • Increasing preparedness for possible future health threats: Drawing lessons from the current pandemic, the Commission will develop 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.

Prioritising the health of their employees and the rest of the society, automotive suppliers are paving the way for a smooth recovery and resilience of automotive production, combining protective equipment with clear guidelines, adoption of best practices and strong communications to everybody involved. Supporting these initiatives, CLEPA has actively gathered information on the different preparation strategies, and safety groundwork that companies and organisations have put together to guarantee the best health conditions in the workplace, with the aim to make these available to the wider industry community through the CLEPA platforms and webinar forums.


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