The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is supporting a campaign to help prevent and manage work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
With three in every five workers affected, MSDs are one of the most frequent causes of disability, sick leave and early retirement and the most common work-related health problem in Europe.
MSD ailments include back and neck pain, tendinitis, hand-arm vibration syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome, which are primarily caused or aggravated by work or the working environment.
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is aiming to raise awareness of MSDs and their impact on individuals, business and society though its Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load campaign.
It is calling on employers, managers and employees to work together to create lasting improvements – and IOSH is delighted to announce its status as an official partner to mark European Week for Safety and Health at Work, which starts today.
Alan Stevens, Head of Strategic Engagement at IOSH, said: “IOSH works with EU-OSHA on a variety of projects to highlight the importance of good OSH management. So, we’re delighted to add our support to Lighten the Load, which focuses on one of our priority areas and aligns with our own activity.
“MSDs affect workers everywhere across the course of their working lives, in all sectors and sizes of organisation. However, they are often preventable.
“Well-designed work, in which risks are properly managed, can both prevent the development of these conditions as well as support employees with non-work-related MSDs.”
IOSH will work with EU-OSHA and its fellow partners by exchanging and sharing information, tips, tools, initiatives and events throughout the campaign, which runs until late 2022. With an international membership of more than 48,000, IOSH is encouraging all its members, wherever they are in the world, to get involved.
Three of the four most frequently identified risk factors in EU-OSHA’s Third European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks study are MSD risks: repetitive hand or arm movements, prolonged sitting, and lifting or moving people or heavy loads.
Good OSH to tackle the issue includes risk assessments, simple preventative measures such as ergonomics and training, and worker participation.