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EU-OSHA - European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), which was established in Bilbao in 1996, intends to make workplaces safer, healthier and more productive. In order to achieve this goal it provides all EU institutions and member states as well as companies and occupational safety and health actors with relevant technical, scientific and economical information in the field of safety and health at work.

In cooperation with the government, social partners and small to large sized enterprises EU-OSHA promotes occupational safety and health all over Europe. In order to organise the exchange of good practices, 38 Focal Points (FOP) were set up - besides the 27 member states and the states participating in European Free Trade Association (EFTA) potential member state countries are also represented as FOPs.

Tasks in detail

By collecting, analysing and disseminating information concerning occupational safety and health in Europe as well as organising "Healthy Workplaces Campaigns" to raise awareness of up-to-date topics, EU-OSHA aims at contributing to make workplaces healthier and more productive. An important approach is prevention in the field of occupational safety and health. Particularly, micro, small and medium enterprises are supported in the implementation of risk assessment and exchanging knowledge and good practice.

In the area of research, the agency seeks to identify and evaluate new and emerging risk at the workplace. Furthermore issues of occupational safety and health are introduced in other policies like education, public health and research. An interdisciplinary way of thinking regarding occupational safety and health is promoted.

The Agency has taken on the following tasks, among others:

  • Collection of relevant information concerning safety and health at work
  • Provision of relevant information for the European Commission in order to accomplish its task of identification, elaboration and evaluation of measures and legislation in the field of occupational safety and health
  • Organisation of events and seminars
  • Promotion and support of collaboration as well as the exchange of information between member states
  • Dissemination of validated information to Focal Points and stakeholders as well as via publications and campaigns
  • Participation in the developmental of future joint action programmes

The information is made available to the following target groups:

  • Social partners and their representatives as well as OSH actors
  • Governments and their relevant departments/institutes
  • The European Commission and European institutions
  • Research institutes and researchers

Furthermore, the agency complies with the following tasks at European level:

  • Provision of essential statistics and other information necessary for the definition of priority areas of activity to the Member States and the European Commission Cooperation with other EU-institutions, (e.g. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) and international organisations and countries in order to maximise knowledge and avoid duplication of work

Management of EU-OSHA

The founding Regulation of EU-OSHA stipulates that the Agency is headed by a Director appointed by the Management Board on a proposal from the Commission for a period of five years. A reappointment is possible.

The director is the official representative of the agency. She/he is responsible for the management including financial, administrative and personnel matters and also accountable to the advisory committee.

The Management Board defines the objectives and strategies and identifies priorities for further information and/or activities. It appoints the director of the agency and accepts the yearly management programme, the working programme, the annual report and the budget report. The Management Board consists of governmental representatives, employer and employee representatives, agents of the European commission and observers. The chair of the Management Board rotates yearly among the three stakeholders.

The Executive Board functions as a steering board and supervises the work of the agency. It meets four times a year and consists of eleven members of the management board.

The management of EU-OSHA is currently being recruited.

Current focuses of EU-OSHA

The multi-annual strategic programme (MSP) of EU-OSHA is based on the strategic framework of the EU for occupational safety and health (2014-2020) and on the Europe 2020 strategy for intelligent, sustainable and integrative growth. It builds upon experience of previously executed programmes and on an analysis of expected challenges and the political priorities on European level.

The strategic programme has six priority areas with six clearly defined respective focuses and serves as a base for the annual working programmes.

EU-OSHA Priority areas and activities EU-OSHA Priority areas and activities (Larger version opens in new window)

These current six focuses include:

  1. New and emerging risks - through foresight projects
  2. Facts and figures - gathering and spreading information for researchers and policy-makers through ESENER and OSH overviews
  3. Tools for the management of OSH - primarily through OiRA
  4. Raising awareness of OSH - through the Healthy Workplaces Campaigns and other awareness-raising activities
  5. Networking knowledge - particularly through the development of OSHwiki
  6. Networking

For more information, download EU-OSHA's corporate strategy 2018-2023, which was coherent with European Commission's Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020 and will be aligned with the new Strategic Framework 2021-2027 adopted in June 2021.

Contact EU-OSHA

Head office in Bilbao
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
12 Santiago de Compostela (Edificio Miribilla), 5th Floor
E-48003 Bilbao, Spain

Phone +34 944-358-400
Fax +34 944-358-401

Liaison office in Brussels
Brenda O'Brian
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Square de Meeûs 38/40
B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

Phone +32 2 401 68 59
Fax +32 2 401 68 68

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