Safety and Health of Workers at Work Directive

Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work


This is the EU framework directive for health and safety. It sets out general preventative measures for protecting the health and safety of workers. It requires employers to ensure the health and safety of their workforce. The measures defined in this Directive include employer obligations to provide their staff with information and training, to assess any risks within the workplace, to keep a record of any occupational accidents, to provide first aid, evacuation and fire safety measures, and to ensure that workers can contribute to health and safety measures via consultation.


This Directive generally applies to all sectors, both public and private, including the armed forces, the police and the civil protection services. A very limited exception applies for these three last sectors where characteristics of specific public service activities inevitably conflict with the provisions of the Directive. However, even then, the safety and health of workers must be ensured as far as possible in the light of the objectives of the Directive.

Regulatory activities

According to Article 9 employers are obliged to: - Document the workplace risk assessment - Keep a list of any occupational accidents causing an absence of a worker for more than 3 working days According to Article 17a Member States are obliged to: Draw up a report on the implementation of the Directive every five years

Relevant product types

Not applicable

Reference documents


Obligations based on CLP hazard class

Not applicable

Obligations based on properties of concerns

Not applicable

EU-level occupational exposure limits

Not applicable

EU-level emission limit values

Not applicable

Substance-centric data source(s) at the EU level

Not applicable

Industry submission system in place

Not applicable

Format for industry submission

Not applicable



Update process

The employer’s risk assessment, including on any risks posed to workers by chemical substances or preparations, will need to be recorded. Risk assessments are updated in accordance with the minimum requirements of the Directive and national legislation. Member States are to draw up an implementation report every five years.


Corrigendum, OJ L 275, 5.10.1990, p. 42(89/391) Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 September 2003 Directive 2007/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008