On 28 June, the Commission adopted its new EU strategic framework on health and safety at work for 2021-2027, setting out key actions to improve workers' health and safety over the coming years and in particular measures concerning health and social care services.
With the new strategy, the Commission is renewing its commitment to update occupational safety and health rules, in order to reduce health risks at work and improve OSH standards across the EU and across sectors. The strategic framework is also based on input gathered by the Commission through a public consultation, to which the Social Employers contributed.
The new 2021-2027 OSH framework, announced in the European Pillar of Social Rights action plan, focuses on three key priorities:
- Anticipating and managing change: advances in technology can provide new opportunities for workers including workers with disabilities or older workers, as well as improve work-life balance.
- Improving the prevention of workplace accidents and illnesses: including further tackling musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), a health problem that is prevalent in many sectors, including the social services sector.
- Increasing preparedness to respond to current and future health crises: drawing lessons from the COVID19 pandemic and increasing preparedness for potential future health crises, especially regarding measures of increased hygiene and mental health support.
The Commission also highlights the role of social partners in finding solutions adapted to the circumstances of a specific activity or sector and invites them to take action to tackle psychosocial and ergonomic risks.
The European Commssion will ask the experts panel on effective ways of investing in health to deliver an opinion on supporting the mental health of healthcare workers and other essential workers by the end of 2021. In 2024, the Commission will produce an OSH overview focusing on the specifics of the health and care sectors, in cooperation with EU-OSHA.
To raise awareness and tackle work-related MSDs in social services, the Social Employers, together with EPSU, has joined the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) in their "Healthy Workplaces - Lighten the Load" campaign.
Access the new Occupational Safety & Health Strategy HERE.