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10 January 2020

Annual strategic meeting on Health and Safety in Budapest

Photo Credit: Bence Balla-Schottner on Unsplash


The Health and Safety and Working Conditions Unit of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) organized the Annual Strategic meeting for the Advisory Committee on Health and Safety at Work (ACSH WIG) which was held in Budapest, in September 2019.

Participants discussed the most relevant issues and priorities of the work programme for the coming years. Primarily, the meeting agenda focused a building of joint strategy for new decade and covers the position of European trade unions declared by European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) adopted at its 14th Congress in May 2019 and also the new work programme of the ETUI for next years.

The ETUC programme was presented by Per Hilmersson, deputy general secretary. Participants supported a continuation of a revision of the CMR directive (carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction) and the setting up new OELs (Occupational Exposure Limits) for carcinogenic substances.

Spokesperson Nina Hedegaard Nielse presented the ACSH WIG opinion towards EU strategy and stressed the need for new and improved national strategies, support and appropriate resources for both for enforcement bodies, workers’ representatives and OHS Committees.

Charlotte Grevfors Ernoult represented the European Commission and reflected on current development in health and safety. She presented a framework for next EU OHS Strategy which should come into force next year. The European Commission has treated certain trade union priorities yet others such as new legislation on MSDs (musculoskeletal disorders) remain to be considered.

Laurent Vogel, ETUI’s senior researcher, presented the campaign on work related cancer and the strategy for the future on health and safety at EU level and urged member state representatives to increase lobbying with national authorities and members of the European Parliament (MEP) on this issue.

The issue of regulation of ergonomics hazards and MSDs have been introduced from two perspectives – both European and national. Prevention of MSDs is a topic for new EU OSHA Healthy Workplace Campaign when ETUC intends to be an official campaign partner. Moreover, the MSDs remain one of highest priorities for next years.

Photo Credit: Bence Balla-Schottner on Unsplash

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