About this consultation
This roadmap initiative will contribute to improving health and safety at work, including helping to prevent workers from having accidents at work and getting avoidable work-related illnesses. The initiative will also improve productivity and contribute to preventing unnecessary health costs, such as medical or rehabilitation costs, as well as to reducing public healthcare spending, so improving the sustainability of social security systems.
This requires an inclusive and crosscutting strategic approach to address the main challenges which will be identified for this decade and ensure that workers in the EU can benefit from the highest standard when it comes to health and safety at work.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the crucial importance of health, including health & safety at work.
Despite the significant reduction in accidents at work in the EU over the past decades, workers in the Union still fall victim to too many accidents at work. In 2017, there were some 3.300 fatal accidents at work and some 3.2 million non-fatal accidents (with at least 4 days of absence from work) in the EU-27. At the same time, data published in 2017 by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) show that there are some 200.000 deaths per year related to work-related illnesses in the EU-28. The economic costs of work-related illnesses and accidents together account for about 3.3% of GDP or €476 billion in the EU-28 per year.
The initiative aims at maintaining and improving high OSH standards for workers across the Union, also in the light of new circumstances and the need to prepare for upcoming new crisis and threats, by reducing accidents at work and work-related diseases and by mobilising Member States and stakeholders around common priorities to achieve this. It aims at providing a political policy framework to improve OSH at both national and EU level.