BELGIUM: new Royal Decree on ergonomics at work and MSD prevention

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A new Royal Decree on Ergonomics and the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) at Work came into force on 25 May 2024 and is now part of the Code of Wellbeing at Work.

Previously, the prevention of MSDs was only partially regulated. However, the large number of workers absent from work due to MSDs showed that there was an urgent need to focus more on this issue and to improve workplace ergonomics in general.

The Royal Decree first defines 4 concepts: the ergonomist prevention adviser, ergonomics at work, MSDs and musculoskeletal risks at work. It also adds some general principles:

  • Employers must take ergonomics into account when designing and equipping new workplaces and when adapting existing workplaces.
  • The employer must implement a policy to prevent MSDs or other health problems caused or made worse by musculoskeletal risks at work, using a comprehensive approach that takes into account the various risk factors.
  • The various players involved in this prevention policy are identified, in particular the prevention adviser from the internal occupational health and safety service, the ergonomist prevention adviser and the prevention adviser/occupational physician. Finally, workers and the prevention and protection committee must be informed and trained about musculoskeletal risks at work and the various preventive measures.

A number of information brochures, resources and tools are available to inform employers, workers and prevention advisers about musculoskeletal risks and to help them improve ergonomics in the workplace.

To find out more

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