Safety and health legislation

A wide variety of Community measures in the field of safety and health at work have been adopted on the basis of Article 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. European directives are legally binding and have to be transposed into national laws by Member States.

European Directives set out minimum requirements and fundamental principles, such as the principle of prevention and risk assessment, as well as the responsibilities of employers and employees. A series of European guidelines aims to facilitate the implementation of European directives as well as European standards which are adopted by European standardisation organisations.

The EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2021-2027, announced in the European Pillar of Social Rights action plan, sets out the key priorities and actions necessary for improving workers’ health and safety. The framework takes a tripartite approach, focusing on three key objectives: anticipating and managing change, improving prevention and increasing preparedness.

Further information on safety and health at work can also be found at the website of the European Commission, DG Employment and Social Affairs.

The following sections provide information on European legislation, its implementation and other practical documents on safety and health at work arranged by topic.