Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Official Journal Reference

C 67 of 1984-03-08

Legislative Reference

84/C67/02 of 1984-02-27
To increase the level of protection against occupational risks of all types by increasing the efficiency of measures for preventing, monitoring and controlling these risks.


In its Resolution of 17 February 1984 (Official Journal No C 67 of 8.3.1984) on a second Community programme of action on safety and health at work, the Council expressed the political will to take the measures required so that by the end of 1988 a series of priority actions could be undertaken. It requested the Commission to prepare annually, after consulting the Member States, a forward outline of the work to be carried out and to ensure the closest possible coordination with work undertaken in other fields, notably in the context of the Council Resolution of 17 December 1973 on industrial policy (Official Journal No C 117 of 31.12.1973) and in the context of the Community action programmes on the environment.

This second programme, like the first, was drawn up with reference to the Council Resolution of 21 January 1974 on a social action programme (Official Journal No C 13 of 12.2.1974) and was based on Articles 117 and 118 of the EEC Treaty.


Seven priority actions:

- Protection against dangerous substances;
. Continued establishment of Community provisions based on Council Directive 80/1107/EEC of 27 November 1980 on the protection of workers from risks linked to exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents at work;
. Establishment of common methodologies in order to assess health risks of physical, chemical and biological agents present at the workplace;
. Development of a standard approach for the establishment of exposure limits for toxic substances;
. Establishment of standard methods for measuring and evaluating workplace air concentrations and biological indicators of the workers involved and quality control programmes for their use;
. Development of preventive and protective measures for substances recognized as being carcinogenic and other dangerous substances and processes;
. Establishment of Community rules for limiting exposure to noise and continuation of work on developing a basis for Community measures on vibrations and non-ionizing radiation;

- Ergonomic measures, protection against accidents and dangerous situations;
. Development of safety proposals, particularly for high-risk activities;
. Examination of major-accident hazards of certain industrial activities covered by Directive 82/501/EEC;
. Development of ergonomic measures and accident prevention principles with regard to the limits of the constraints imposed on workers by the design of equipment, the tasks required and the working environment;
. Development of proposals on lighting at the workplace;
. Exchanges of experience with a view to improving the organization and training of departments responsible for inspection in the fields of safety, health and hygiene at work;

- Organization:
. Recommendations on the organizational and advisory role of departments responsible for health and safety problems in small and medium-sized undertakings, by defining, in particular, the role of specialists in occupational medicine, hygiene and safety;
. Drawing up principles and criteria for monitoring workers whose health and safety are considered to be at serious risk;
. Drawing up principles for participation by workers and their representatives in the improvement of health and safety measures at the workplace;

- Training and Information:
. Providing employers and workers with adequate information on chemicals and substances to which they are likely to be exposed;
. Drawing up programmes aimed at better training as regards occupational hazards and measures for safety of those at work, plus training schemes targeted at specific groups such as young workers, groups having special need of up-to-date information and workers in key positions;

- Statistics:
. Establishing comparable data on mortality and occupational diseases and collecting data on accidents at work and occupational diseases;
. Compilation of an inventory of existing cancer registers at local, regional and national level to assess the comparability of the data contained in them and to ensure better coordination at Community level;

- Research
Identification and coordination of topics for applied research in the field of safety and health at work which could be the subject of future Community action;

- Cooperation
Continued cooperation with international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the International Labour Office and with national organizations and institutes outside the Community.


The Commission was responsible for implementing the programme on the basis of annual workplans prepared in consultation with the Member States. It was assisted by the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work which was set up by Council Decision 74/325/EEC of 27 June 1974.
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