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Preventing musculoskeletal disorders MSDs


... report suffering from backache; a similar proportion complain of muscular pains. ... sensations, swelling in the joints, decreased mobility or grip strength ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Preventing musculoskeletal disorders MSDs

(No Transcript)
Preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
  • The most common work-related health problem in
  • The EUs Lisbon strategy objectives demand the
    creation of good quality jobs in Europe

MSDs cause ill health (I)
  • Across Europe, a quarter of workers report
    suffering from backache a similar proportion
    complain of muscular pains. In the new Member
    States, the figure is almost 40
  • Agriculture and construction workers report most
    musculoskeletal complaints, however all sectors
    are concerned

MSDs cause ill health (II)
  • Two thirds of workers are exposed a quarter of
    the time or more to repetitive hand and arm
  • A half work in painful or tiring positions
  • A third carry or move heavy loads

MSDs cost money
  • Business loses productivity
  • Higher medical and social costs for government -
    back pain costs the UK health service 5 billion
    a year
  • Individuals and families suffer too!

What are MSDs?
  • Impairments of the bodily structures such as
    muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, nerves or
    localised blood circulation systems
  • They mainly affect the back, neck, shoulders and
    upper limbs, but also lower limbs

What causes work related MSDs?
  • Working and the effects of the immediate working
  • Most are cumulative disorders, developed over a
    long period of time
  • They can also be acute traumas, such as a
    fracture caused by an accident

Risk factors - working alone or in combination
  • Physical - force, repetitive movements,
    vibration, awkward postures
  • Organisational - low autonomy/job satisfaction,
    repetitive work at a high pace
  • Individual - medical history, physical capacity,
    age, gender

Work-related neck and upper limb disorders -
  • MSDs that affect the upper body
  • Sometimes known as repetitive strain injuries
  • Symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling
    sensations, swelling in the joints, decreased
    mobility or grip strength

Lighten the Load
  • A European campaign to tackle MSDs in the
  • Builds on the 2000 European campaign
  • Backed by the EU Presidencies of Germany and
    Portugal, European Parliament, European
    Commission and European social partners
  • Culminates in the European Week of Safety and
    Health at Work from 22 to 26 October 2007

Lighten the Load - aims
  • Promotes an integrated management approach with
    three elements
  • employers, employees and government working
  • addressing the whole load on the body
  • managing the retention, rehabilitation and return
    to work of those with MSDs

Lighten the Load - the whole load on the body
  • Covers all the strains being put on the body, as
    well as the load being carried
  • Assess the full range of MSD risks and address
    them comprehensively

We all share responsibility for tackling MSDs
  • They are a problem for
  • employers
  • workers and their safety representatives
  • government
  • health and safety institutions
  • policy-makers

Employers responsibilities
  • Legally required to assess workplace risks and
    act to ensure the safety and health of workers
  • MSDs are preventable if the right action is taken

Employers actions
  • Modify tasks to eliminate or reduce risk
  • Provide user-friendly machines and equipment
  • Promote retention, reintegration and
    rehabilitation of workers with MSDs
  • Offer training and information

Employee responsibilities (I)
  • Safety isnt all down to your employer
  • You also have a responsibility to co-operate with
    your employer to protect yourself and your

Employee responsibilities (II)
  • Be aware of MSD risks and their impact on your
  • Know how to avoid or lessen the risks
  • Become informed and join in with workplace health
    and safety activities

Lighten the Load good practice awards
  • Recognise companies and organisations that have
    made outstanding and innovative contributions
    tackling MSDs
  • Winners announced at the MSD Summit in March 2008

Where to find out more
  • There is more help and advice on how to stay safe
    and healthy at work on the Lighten the Load
    website - http//
  • And the MSDs Single Entry Point -

Taking part in Lighten the Load
  • Resources on the website http//ew2007.osha.euro
  • multilingual information packs
  • fact sheets, leaflets, posters and stickers
  • activities and events
  • Get involved - support Lighten the Load!