Abstract: During the 1990s, Community occupational health and safety policy shifted from a strong regulatory approach to more persuasive policy-making. However, while it is entirely justified to stress the importance of good implementation of occupational health and safety standards, the Community’s post ‘regulatory boom’ in policy in this area still looks largely like a ‘testing out’ of various soft procedures, the effectiveness of which still needs to be proven. The new occupational health and safety strategy proposed by the Commission in March 2002 does not manage to provide a coherent and efficient institutional framework. As long as the Member States do not consider occupational health and safety a political priority, the small occupational health and safety division of the Commission – which lacks the instruments and power to ensure inspection of implementation, and which has seen a good part of its resources disappearing into an Agency over which it has little control – will have a hard time to respond to the challenges of the sector.
International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations