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Health and Safety: Commission requests Austria to fully apply Directives to education sector

27/09/2012

The European Commission has requested Austria to fully apply to the education sector two health and safety Directives.

The Framework Directive 89/391/EEC and the Workplace Directive 89/654/EEC require Member States to put in place measures to eliminate and reduce the risk factors for occupational diseases and accidents. However Austria excluded the education sector to a large extent from its national legislation implementing these Directives. As a result, the health and safety of teachers and lecturers may be less well protected, for example as regards emergency exits or stability and solidity of buildings.

The request takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures. Austria now has two months to notify the Commission of measures taken to fully implement the Directives. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer this Member State to the EU's Court of Justice.