Latest update: 19/03/2021

Directive 89/654/EEC - workplace requirements

of 30 November 1989 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the workplace (first individual directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/EEC)


The Directive lays down minimum requirements for safety and health at the workplace.


Definition of the term “workplace”.


The Directive shall not apply to means of transport used outside the undertaking and/or the establishment, or workplaces inside means of transport, temporary or mobile work sites, extractive industries, fishing boats and fields, woods and other land forming part of an agricultural or forestry undertaking but situated away from the undertaking's buildings.

Workplaces must satisfy the minimum safety and health requirements laid down in Annex I.

General obligations for the employer:

  • traffic routes to emergency exits and the exits themselves are kept clear at all times
  • technical maintenance of the workplace and of the equipment and devices is carried out as quickly as possible
  • the workplace and the equipment and devices are regularly cleaned to an adequate level of hygiene
  • safety equipment and devices intended to prevent or eliminate hazards are regularly maintained and checked.

Moreover, the provisions of Directive 89/391/EEC - "the Framework Directive" - are fully applicable without prejudice to more restrictive and/or specific provisions contained in this directive.


Annex I (for workplaces used for the first time)

Annex II (for workplaces already in use)

Topics covered in the Annexes:

  • stability and solidity
  • electrical installations
  • emergency routes and exits
  • fire detection and fire fighting
  • ventilation of enclosed workplaces
  • room temperature
  • natural and artificial room lighting
  • floors, walls, ceilings and roofs of rooms
  • windows and skylights
  • doors and gates
  • traffic routes - danger areas
  • specific measures for escalators and travelators
  • loading bays and ramps
  • room dimensions and air space in rooms - freedom of movement at the workstation
  • rest rooms
  • pregnant women and nursing mothers
  • sanitary equipment
  • first aid rooms/equipment
  • disabled workers
  • outdoor workplaces (special provisions)
  • Movement of pedestrians and vehicles

Read the full text of the consolidated version of the Directive (including later amendments)

Read the full text of the original Directive (without amendments)

National laws implementing this Directive

Further information on this topic

See also further documents of the European Commission on that topic:

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions on the practical implementation of the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Directives 89/391 (Framework), 89/654 (Workplaces), 89/655 (Work Equipment), 89/656 (Personal Protective Equipment), 90/269 (Manual Handling of Loads) and 90/270 (Display Screen Equipment)

Evaluation of the impact of the Workplace Directive 89/654/EEC (pp.136 ff.) based on a generic evaluation methodology (2012)

Evaluation of the Practical Implementation of the EU Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Directives in EU Member States - Directive concerning minimum safety and health requirements for the workplace (2017)