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Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (ACSHW)

The role of this standing Advisory Committee is to assist the Commission in the preparation and implementation of decisions taken in the field of safety and health at work and to facilitate cooperation between national administrations, trade unions and employers' organisations.


Council Decision 2003/C 218/01 of 22 July 2003 setting up an Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work and repealing Decisions 74/325/EEC and 74/326/EEC.


This new committee takes over the activities of the two former committees which now no longer exist:

  • the Advisory Committee for Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work, set up in 1974, for all economic activities except for the extractive industries and the protection of the health of workers against the dangers arising from ionising radiation;
  • the Safety and Health Commission for the Mining and Other Extractive Industries, set up in 1957, whose remit was extended to all extractive industries.

This Committee has the task of assisting the Commission in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of all initiatives related to safety and health at work, in particular:

  • defining, within the framework of Community action programmes, the criteria and aims for preventing accidents at work and health hazards within the undertaking;
  • defining methods enabling undertakings and their employees to evaluate and improve the level of protection;
  • contributing, alongside the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, to keeping national administrations, trades unions and employers' organisations informed of Community measures in order to facilitate cooperation and to encourage exchanges of experience and establish codes of practice.

In order to accomplish the above tasks, the Committee cooperates with the other committees involved in safety and health at work, inter alia with the Senior Labour Inspectors Committee and the Scientific Committee for Occupational Exposure Limits to Chemical Agents.

The Committee consists of three full members from each Member State: one government representative, one trade union representative and one employers' representative. They are appointed by the Council for a three-year term, which is renewable.

It is chaired by a Commission official.

The Committee's opinions are delivered by an absolute majority of the votes validly cast, and reasons are given for these opinions.


Given the radical changes in working life over the past few years, the opportunities opened up by enlargement and the implementation of a new Community strategy on safety and health (2002-2006), it had become necessary to streamline the operation of the two existing advisory committees. The creation of the new Committee should allow the following objectives to be achieved:

  • extending this Committee's role to all aspects related to safety, hygiene and health protection at work;
  • integrating the activities of the various bodies involved in defining and implementing Community policy on health and safety at work (cooperation with other advisory committees and with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work).



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2003/C 218/01



Official Journal [C 218 of 13.9.2003]

Last updated: 30.04.2007

See also

For more information, please consult the website on the ACSHW which can be found on the site for the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

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