European 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 (ex Article 137 TEC). European directives are legally binding and have to be transposed into national laws by the Member States.

The Framework Directive with its wide scope of application as well as further directives focusing on specific aspects of safety and health at work are the fundamentals of European safety and health legislation.

These 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. Moreover, a series of European guidelines aim to facilitate the implementation of European directives as well as European standards which are adopted by European standards organisations.

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

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

The EU Strategic framework on safety and health at work 2014-2020 defines key strategic objectives with a view to reduce occupational accidents and diseases in the EU.

For information on international law in the area of safety and health at work visit the website of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the relevant implementing laws.