Latest update: 19/03/2021

Directive 89/654/EEC - workplace requirements

The Workplace Directive provides for minimum requirements for workplaces covering issues such as traffic routes, workroom dimensions and indoor air quality.

Directive 89/654/EEC of 30 November 1989 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the workplace is the first individual directive within the meaning of Article 16 of the OSH Framework Directive 89/391/EEC

Definition and scope
The Directive defines the term “workplace” as the place intended to house workstations on the premises of the undertaking and/or establishment and any other place within the area of the undertaking and/or establishment to which the worker has access in the course of his employment.
The Directive does not apply to means of transport used outside the undertaking, 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.


Employers' obligations
Employers must ensure that workplaces satisfy the minimum safety and health requirements laid down in the annexes. Annex I applies to 'new' workplaces, namely workplaces used for the first time after 31 December 1992. Annex II contains requirements for workplaces that were already in use on 1 January 1993.

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 Directive 89/654/EEC

National laws implementing this Directive


Further information

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)