Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 03/06/2020

Coronavirus: biological agents directive updated to better protect the health and safety of workers

The Commission has published today an update to the biological agents directive to further improve the safety of workers in the EU.

The Commission adopted an update of the Biological Agents Directive to include SARS-CoV-2 among the list of biological agents it covers. This update takes into account new risks in the workplace and offers additional protection to all workers, particularly those working in direct contact with the virus in hospitals, industrial processes and laboratories.

The Commission has worked quickly to update the directive, and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA) has already published EU guidance for a safe return to the workplace to help employers prepare workplaces for the return of workers after the COVID-19 crisis.

For the update of the directive, the Commission has relied on the scientific advice of experts from all EU Member States as well as a comprehensive consultation process with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO), stakeholders and interest groups. 

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