25 years of working together for a safe and healthy Europe


Throughout 2019, EU-OSHA celebrates 25 years of working together to make Europe’s workplaces safer, healthier and more productive. Here you will find all information about the 25th anniversary of EU-OSHA’s foundation.

EU-OSHA becomes part of the European project

Occupational safety and health (OSH) has been at the heart of the European project from the start with the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community. The major milestone for OSH in the developing EU was the publication of the Framework Directive (89/391/EEC) in 1989. It laid down common principles and put risk assessment at the centre of OSH legislation. In the early 1990s, there were over 4 million workplace accidents every year in Europe — 8,000 of those were fatal. In response to these shocking figures, the European Commission declared 1992 the European Year of Safety and Health at Work. This set the scene for the founding of EU-OSHA in 1994, and the rest is history.

What might the future hold?

The last 25 years have been a time of significant change in the world of work and unprecedented change in the EU. The future is uncertain, but it is bound to bring new challenges as a result of developments in technology, political and societal pressures, and changes in the economy, demographics and the EU itself. EU-OSHA’s strong relationships with all its partners — the European Commission, the national focal points, the social partners, the campaign partners and its stakeholders — will serve it well in meeting these challenges.

Whatever the future brings, EU-OSHA and its partners will keep striving to make Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work.