The question was asked by a European MP, Juozas Imbrasas (EFD). He recalled that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) “represent a huge burden for health protection and social insurance systems in all EU countries.” MSDs affect 120 million people in the EU and are estimated to account for one-third of work disabilities; apparently, 38% are work-related.
In his reply on behalf of the European Commission, Mr Borg said that the Commission had financed various projects within the framework of the 2008-2013 Health Plan and that, since the 1980s, the EU has done a lot to manage the problem of the eleven million European workers who suffer MSDs. He gave a reminder that apart from the framework directive (89/391/EEC), which establishes general provisions, other legislation specifically targets MSDs, such as the directives on “manual handling of loads” (90/269/EEC), “work with display screen equipment” (90/270/EEC) and “vibration” (2002/44/EC).
Finally, the Commission representative gave a reminder that the evaluation underway on the current legislation, the results of which are expected in 2015, will make it possible to say whether further action, either regulatory or not, is necessary to reduce the incidence of work-related MSDs.
Questions and answers published in the OJEU C 405/271 of 14 November 2014