The occupational safety and health (OSH) Summit, held in Stockholm on 15-16 May 2023, has been the opportunity to take stock of the EU strategic framework on health and safety at work 2021-2027 – Occupational safety and health in a changing world of work.
The OSH Summit has confirmed the effectiveness of the strategic framework in identifying the key objectives and actions for the period to make the workplace fit for the increasingly rapid changes in the world of work due to, among others digital, and green transitions and the impact of the pandemic crisis.
Significant progress has been made in the implementation of the strategic framework. On one hand, the ambitious agenda of EU initiatives and actions put forward in the strategic framework is being implemented at a good pace. On the other hand, some Member States have adopted or updated their national OSH strategies in line with the updated vision for OSH set by the EU strategic framework.
The stocktaking exercise has acknowledged a very active mobilisation of the main OSH stakeholders and has also identified a number of remaining OSH challenges.
- First, more efforts are needed from all the stakeholders to implement the strategic framework until 2027, both at EU and national levels, for example adopting more ambitious national strategies in light of the EU framework or developing practical initiatives to pursue vision zero to work-related deaths approach.
- In addition, the Summit has identified ongoing growing OSH issues that need intensified further consideration, such as psychosocial risks and mental health at work, climate change and its impact on OSH, and the potential of Artificial Intelligence and robotics to create safer and healthier workplaces for all.
The OSH stocktaking summit reconfirms that Framework Directive 89/391/EEC with its prevention approach is a golden standard to workers’ protection. It covers all risks to their safety and health, including those resulting from the OSH issues identified above. However, more efforts are needed to fully and effectively apply its provisions as well as those of the related directives on ground.
An effective implementation of the EU OSH strategic framework during the coming years needs intense work and to rely on the following key principles:
- the commitment and concerted action of all OSH actors
- the tripartism in implementing the EU OSH strategic framework and national OSH actions – the Advisory Committee for Safety and Health at Work ensures a strong contribution at EU level
- the sound scientific and technical advice underpinning evidence-based policymaking
- the support to practical application of OSH provisions provided by EU-OSHA
- the promotion of effective and equivalent enforcement of EU OSH provisions across Member States supported by the Senior Labour Inspectorates Committee
- streamlining of procedures has to be enhanced to avoid overlaps