Coronavirus: EU guidance for a safe return to the workplace

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


How to ensure the health and safety of workers when they come back to the workplace? This important question is on the minds of many employers as EU countries plan or execute a progressive return to work after coronavirus. In response, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has issued today guidance on coming back to work.

European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “Today, more than ever, it is very clear that protecting and promoting occupational safety and health is of the utmost importance for workers, companies, social protection systems and the whole society. This guidance provides answers to practical questions that employers have, for instance on how to minimise exposure to coronavirus in the workplace, how to update their risk assessment, taking care of workers who have been ill. It will help employers and businesses in managing the return to work and in providing practical advice to the staff.”

The Commission attaches the greatest importance to ensuring that workers can return to the workplace in a safe and healthy environment. Therefore, the guidance issued today represents a crucial EU contribution in this important period.It also contains links to national information on specific sectors and occupations.The guidance covers several areas:

  • Risk assessment and appropriate measures
  • Involving workers
  • Taking care of workers who have been ill
  • Planning and learning for the future
  • Staying well informed
  • Information for sectors and occupations

The guidance prepared by EU-OSHA in cooperation with the European Commission has also benefitted from the inputs of the tripartite Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work and the Senior Labour Inspectors Committee. It will be updated regularly with reliable information as the situation evolves.

Background

The coronavirus outbreak shows the critical importance of sound occupational safety and health measures and conditions in all sectors of activity.

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is the European Union information agency for occupational safety and health.

At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, EU-OSHA already published guidance for workplaces. It compiled the most significant information and advice available on the coronavirus outbreak.

For more information

EU guidance “COVID-19: Back to the workplace”

On the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Follow Commissioner Nicolas Schmit on Twitter

Subscribe to the European Commission’s free e-mail newsletter on employment, social affairs and inclusion.

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