Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) remain the most common work-related health problem in the EU. EU-OSHA is publishing an analysis of existing studies which aims to elucidate the reasons for this.
The authors identify 12 general hypotheses such as the impact of digitalisation, new forms of employment, the gap between risk assessment and preventive measures, age, gender…
This exploratory review has identified a clear need to do the following:
- Identify and understand differences between countries and find out what is effective to reduce the prevalence of MSDs and what doesn’t work.
- Adapt risk assessment tools and risk reduction measures to be able to assess both MSDs and psychosocial risks in one assessment.
- Increase awareness and understanding of the work relevance of MSDs and their identification, prognosis and prevention in the workforce.
- Ensure that workplace health promotion activities focus on MSD prevention as well as health behaviours that affect MSDs.
- Identify current practices to improve the prevention of the impact on MSD caused by the digital integration of an individual’s work-life commitments and platform working.
- Update legislation to cover new technologies, including examining the implementation of the existing legislation to determine: Does the legislation cover the correct risks? Are employers adequately assessing these risks? Are employers implementing appropriate controls?
It is worth recalling that the Healthy Workplaces 2020-22 campaign, EU-OSHA’s flagship awareness-raising activity, focuses on the prevention of work-related MSDs.