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Health and safety at work - Advisory Committee on Health and Safety at Work

Advisory Committee on Health and Safety at Work

The Advisory Committee on safety and health at work (ACSH) is a tripartite body set up in 2003 by a Council Decision (2003/C 218/01) to streamline the consultation process in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH) and rationalise the bodies created in this area by previous Council Decisions – namely the former Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work (established in 1974) and the Mines Safety and Health Commission for safety and health in the coal mining and the other extractive industries (established in 1956). To ensure continuity concerning questions previously dealt with by the Mines Safety and Health Commission, a Standing Working Party (SWP) on the mining industry has been established within the Committee (Article 5 (4), of the Council Decision 2003/C 218/01).

The Committee's remit is to assist the European Commission in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of activities in the fields of safety and health at work, in particular by:

  • giving opinions on EU initiatives in the area of OSH (e.g. draft proposals for new legislation,  EU programmes / strategies,  any other EU initiatives having impact on health and safety policy);
  • contributing pro-actively to identifying OSH policy priorities and to establishing relevant programmes / strategies;
  • encouraging the exchange of views and experience between Member States and stakeholders, operating as in interface between EU and national level. .

The Committee is composed of three full members per Member State, representing national governments, trade unions and employers' organisations. Two alternate members are appointed for each full member. Members from national governments, trade unions and employers' organisations are organised in three separate interest groups within the Committee, each of them designating a spokesperson and a coordinator.

The Committee meets twice a year in a plenary. Its activities are coordinated by a ‘Bureau’, composed of two representatives from the Commission and the spokespersons and coordinators designated by the interest groups. The Committee is chaired by the Commission.

The Committee’s annual work programme is prepared by the Bureau for adoption by the Committee.

A number of working parties are established within the Committee to deal with specific technical issues and to prepare draft opinions for adoption by the Committee.

For access to official Committee documents see the library entries.

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