The European Union sets legislation in the form of Directives, based on the legal foundation established in Article 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. EU legislature has established a system of basic principles of safety management, which must be transposed into national law by the Member States. Thus the principles are applicable in all establishments in the European Union.
General basic requirements for safety and health at workplaces are laid down in Directive 1989/654/EEC concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the workplace (in the following referred to as WPD). The aim of this Directive is to introduce minimum measures designed to improve the working environment, in order to guarantee a better standard of safety and health protection. Dir 1989/654/EEC is the first individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of the Framework Directive (1989/391/EEC), which establishes general principles for managing safety and health. Further provisions are established in specific Directives for workplaces in sectors of elevated risk.