Towards an improvement of the legal framework governing Occupational Health and Safety in the European Union

Cefaliello, Aude (2020) Towards an improvement of the legal framework governing Occupational Health and Safety in the European Union. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis addresses the complex issue of what action could be taken by the EU to improve OHS standards across the Member States (MS). More specifically: what can be done at the EU level? Why should action be taken and under what conditions? To address these questions, the thesis is structured around two main focal points: in order to think about what could be done to develop EU OHS standards, it is first necessary to assess what has been done in the past.
In the first chapter, a socio-legal perspective is adopted to chart the evolution to date of OHS law within the EU. Relevant primary sources are analysed, including all EU OHS directives, and a review of the secondary literature is complemented by a series of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders who participated in the drafting or negotiation of the main Framework Directive 89/391/EEC. In order to assess the impact of EU OHS standards within the MS, a comparison is then drawn between French and UK OHS law, with a focus in each case on the changes that were made to national law in response to developments in EU law. In the second part of the thesis, the enquiry turns to consider how the EU institutions might act to improve OHS standards. The jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) is analysed in a detailed, schematic manner and the nature and activities of Labour Inspectorates is considered, both within MS and at the EU level, with a critical review here of the role and function of the recently created European Labour Authority.
Given the current political stalemate in the EU in respect of social policy, the main conclusion of the thesis is that the most viable route towards the improvement of workers’ health and safety lies not with new legislation but with the improved application and enforcement of the existing body of EU OHS standards. This could be effected through (i) European-level coordination of the way LIs enforce existing standards at the national level, and (ii) a program of strategic litigation before the CJEU to cover existing gaps and develop ‘new’ rights; for example, the right to reasonable accommodation in the workplace for injured or unwell workers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: European Labour Law - Comparative Law - Occupational Health and Safety - Labour Law - European Union
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Dukes, Professor Ruth
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr. Aude Cefaliello
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81566
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2020 11:57
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2022 14:18
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81566

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