Putting the new guidelines of the European Union on safety and health at work into practice poses a problem to most countries. Too many questions remain unanswered: Where is the compromise when, as is well known, all requirements of guideline 89/391 cannot be put into practice? Where are the marks of quality of a risk analysis? Questions of this kind often lead to extreme opinions: On the one hand a fussy bureaucratic insistence on the observance of every detail of the rules, on the other hand the Laissez faire of those, who are used to “just getting on with the job”. Between these are the more or less scientifically based compromises, either inclining to the side of the employer or the trade union.