23 Jan

2019 marks the 25th birthday of the European Union Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)

2019 marks the 25th birthday of the European Union Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) in Bilbao. Celebrating the occasion, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, has said:

In the past twenty five years, European legislation and the relentless efforts of EU-OSHA have made our workplaces safer, healthier and more productive. Europe is a pioneer and boasts some of the highest standards on health and safety at work in the world. We are addressing the biggest killer in the workplace: occupational cancer. We have reduced the number of workers who died in an accident at work by almost 25% and the number of workers reporting health problems by 10%. The Agency has played a crucial role to achieve this, as well as the close involvement of social partners to adapt our efforts to the reality of companies.

The European Pillar of Social Rights has provided support at the highest political level to make European workplaces even safer and healthier, and under my mandate I have put concrete proposals on the table to better protect workers against cancer-causing chemicals. We will continue our work to make Europe a better place where all European workers come home healthy and safe every day after work.”


Protecting the health and safety of EU workers is a top priority for this Commission. The EU has been a frontrunner in high standards of workers’ protection. To keep this up, the Commission has already presented 3 revisions of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive since the start of this mandate.

By introducing new or stricter exposure values for 22 cancer-causing chemicals at the work place, more than 100,000 lives will be saved in the next 50 years and better protect more than twenty million workers in Europe.

Furthermore, in January 2017 the Commission launched a two-year programme for updating EU health and safety legislation. The aim of this programme is to ensure the EU’s health and safety framework is future-proof, to create a level-playing field across the EU, and to improve compliance and enforcement on the ground.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) contributes to making Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work. The Agency researches, develops, and distributes reliable, balanced, and impartial safety and health information and organises pan-European awareness raising campaigns.

Set up by the European Union in 1994 and based in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency brings together representatives from the European Commission, Member State governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, as well as leading experts in each of the EU Member States and beyond.

By: Estela Martín

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