The basic goals that are to be pursued by the implementation of legal and technical regulations in the field of occupational safety and health are: prevention of injuries at work, prevention of occupational diseases, prevention of other diseases related to work.
The European Union Strategy for the Safety and Health of Workers states that the safety and health protection of workers is an important part of the system for the realization of human rights, in particular the right to work and dignity, the protection of life and health, and are at the same time an indivisible part of the economic policy in society the situation in this area is linked to the state of the overall social policy in society.
In the resolution of the Council of the European Union on the Strategy for the field of safety and health at work, the importance of this area for social policy and economy is emphasized. It is specifically stated that the European social model is based on a highly efficient economy, a high level of social security and education, and an open and diversified dialogue in society. This implies, first and foremost, the improvement of working conditions with a focus on safety at work.
From the views, recommendations and requests in the resolution, the call for the Member States to give priority to the following activities is highlighted:
- Developing and implementing harmonized policies to prevent injuries at work and occupational diseases,
- Policies should be adapted to national conditions and with established measurable goals in reducing injuries at work and occupational diseases, especially in those activities where the number of injuries on the work of professional illnesses is above average,
- Action to create a prevention culture in such a way that the basic principles of preventing occupational injuries and occupational diseases are embedded in the content of the education program and training plans, and initiate activities to develop awareness of the importance of health and safety at work.
The Council of the European Union urges member states that occupational safety and health protection is one of the most important factors of social policy in the European Union, and that due to the adoption and implementation of numerous Community regulations in the last decade, conditions have been created for improving working conditions in member states, as well as reducing the number of occupational injuries and occupational diseases.
It is noted that insufficient occupational safety may result in absenteeism from work, injuries at work, occupational diseases and permanent incapacity for work, which has not only a negative social effect but also a significant negative economic effect, especially on the overall economic growth, competitiveness of the economy and directly to public social finance.
The Strategy concludes that the issues of health and safety at work deserve, for economic and human reasons, a prominent place in the European Union's policy, and is also an important part of the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy goals on increasing employment and productivity and increasing competitiveness.
In addition, the realization of the goals of the Strategy will contribute to the sustainability of the social protection system, both through reducing the costs of injuries at work, accidents and illness, and through greater motivation of workers. These costs are a significant financial burden for public and private social protection systems and require an integrated, coordinated and strategic response from partners in the European Union.