Community news|28/09/15

MSDs, a major occupational risk prevention issue in Europe

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TMS EpauleThe ETUI has published a special report on MSDs, the No. 1 occupational health issue in the European Union. The document analyses the reasons for the exponential increase in these disorders, provides figures and summarizes good health and safety practices.

The writer of the article, Yves Roquelaure, reviews the extent of the “epidemic” affecting EU Member States, based on figures published by Eurofound and Eurogip. According to Eurofound surveys, 50% of European workers suffer from MSDs. And yet, these conditions are still significantly under-reported (Eurogip). As regards the causes of the exponential growth in MSDs, they are well known: prolonged exposure to biomechanical stresses, new work organizations, etc.

The author gives a reminder that MSD prevention should involve all the stakeholders in the firm (departments in charge of occupational risk prevention and health, company managers, supervisory staff, employee representatives and the workers themselves). The approach must be broad-based, participative and sustainable, and form part of corporate life.

By way of conclusion, Yves Roquelaure considers that risk prevention must go beyond a technically-focused view and raise questions concerning companies’ productive, organizational and management models from a human engineering perspective. […] The European directives on occupational health, handling of loads and VDU work are currently insufficient unless the draft “MSDs” directive is reactivated.
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