In 2003 the Commission published Commission Recommendation 2003/670/EC of 19 September 2003 concerning the European schedule of occupational diseases. The objective of the text is to encourage a consistent approach across the EU with regard to occupational diseases.
In 2022, the Commission published a new, updated, Recommendation following a tripartite agreement between Member States, workers and employers in the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (ACSH) on the need to recognise COVID-19 as an occupational disease.
The text includes recommendations for Member States improving policies on occupational diseases such as measures on
- the recognition of, compensation for, and prevention of occupational diseases;
- the setting of national objectives for the reduction of occupational illnesses;
- the reporting and recording of occupational diseases;
- the collection of data concerning the epidemiology of diseases;
- the promotion of research in the field of ailments linked to an occupational activity;
- the improvement of diagnosis of occupational diseases;
- the dissemination of statistical and epidemiological data on occupational diseases, and the promotion of an active role for national public health and healthcare systems in preventing occupational diseases.
Annex I (European schedule of occupational diseases) contains a list of 109 diseases that should be introduced into the national laws and regulations. The diseases mentioned in this schedule must be linked directly to specific occupations, and, therefore, are liable for compensation (recognised occupational diseases) and subject to prevention measures. For each of the diseases on the list, the Commission has defined diagnostic criteria that are published in the guide Information notices on occupational diseases (2009).
The 2022 update of the Recommendation incorporated COVID-19 into the annex i.e. COVID-19 caused by work in disease prevention, in health and social care and in domiciliary assistance, or, in a pandemic context, in sectors where there is an outbreak in activities in which a risk of infection has been proven
Annex II contains an additional list of diseases suspected of being occupational in origin which should be subject to notification, and which may be considered at a later stage for inclusion in Annex I to the European schedule
Published by: European Commission
Publication date: 30 November 2022