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A new EU-OSHA fact sheet focuses on rheumatic diseases and chronic musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). These conditions are common and will become even more so as the working population ages. All too often, they lead to early retirement from work. Yet many adjustments are easy and inexpensive to implement.
Employer support is important. Employers have responsibilities towards people with disabilities in terms of equal opportunities but also in terms of preventing occupational risks. By making workplaces more accessible to all workers, for example when purchasing equipment, planning tasks or modifying buildings, the need for individual adaptations is reduced.
EU-OSHA recalls the importance of early intervention and quick access to advice. Dialogue and “open conversations” are also important. On the adjustment side, the Agency recommends finding alternative ways of performing tasks, adapting equipment, changing working hours, with examples. Some of these may be only temporary. These should be reviewed with the worker and the possible need for further adjustments discussed.
Applying this advice can benefit all staff.
Download the factsheet (pdf)