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Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (ACSH)

Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (ACSH)



Decision (2003/C 218/01) setting up an Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work


It sets up the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work, a tripartite consultative body whose remit is to assist the European 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.


The committee, set up to streamline the consultation process in the field of health and safety at work, covers all public and private sectors of the economy. Its main tasks consist in:

  • giving opinions on European Union (EU) initiatives in the area of occupational safety and health (new legislation, EU programmes, etc.);
  • contributing pro-actively to identify EU-level priorities and to establish relevant policy strategies;
  • encouraging exchanges of views and experience (interface between national and EU level).

The committee consists of 3 full members from each EU country:

  • 1 government representative,
  • 1 representative of the trade unions and
  • 1 representative of employers’ organisations, appointed by the Council for a 3-year term.

Three interest groups are established accordingly within the committee. Each interest group selects 1 of its members to be its spokesperson and designates a coordinator.

The committee is chaired by the Director-General in charge of social policy at the Commission. It meets twice a year in a plenary. The Commission (the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) provides secretarial services for the committee.

The modus operandi of the committee is regulated by its rules of procedure (RoP), which the committee adopted on 18 November 2004 on the basis of a favourable Commission opinion.

The RoP also define the decision-making procedures to be followed for the adoption of any official position by the committee. Possible procedures are:

  • the ordinary decision-making procedure, applied at plenary meetings. In this context, an opinion or decision can:
    • either be unanimously adopted, when the spokespersons of the three interest groups express complete agreement on the issue under discussion,
    • or be adopted by an absolute majority of votes, if no unanimous agreement is reached;
  • the fast-track decision-making procedure, applied by written procedure (absolute majority required).

Opinions adopted by the committee are not binding on the Commission.


It has applied since 1 January 2004.


For more information, see:


Council Decision of 22 July 2003 setting up an Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (2003/C 218/01)(OJ C 218, 13.9.2003, pp. 1–4)


Commission Opinion on the Draft Rules of Procedure of the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (COM(2004) 756 final, 17.11.2004)

last update 30.11.2016