New EU Framework for Health and Safety at Work

On 28 June, the European Commission adopted the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2021-2027, setting out key actions needed to improve workers’ health and safety. More than 200,000 workers still die each year from work-related illnesses: the cost for the EU economy is estimated to be over 3.3% of GDP annually. The new strategic framework takes a tripartite approach involving EU institutions, Member States, social partners and other stakeholders and focuses on three key priorities:

  • anticipating and managing change in the context of green, digital and demographic transitions;
  • improving the prevention of work-related accidents and diseases, and striving towards a Vision Zero approach to work-related deaths; and
  • increasing preparedness to respond to current and future health crises.

EONS welcomes the new Framework but, given the severity of this issue, especially for cancer nurses handling cytotoxic drugs, believes that the European Commission should be even more ambitious. We believe the Commission should oblige EU Member States to implement mandatory training programmes for the handling of hazardous medical products by healthcare professionals, and should take a further step with the inclusion of reprotoxic substances in the EU’s Cytotoxic and Mutagen’s Directive (CMD4).