For healthy work, lighten the load

EU-OSHA’s Healthy Workplaces – Lighten the Load 2020-2022 campaign raises awareness of work-related MSDs. It encourages employers, managers and workers and their representatives to work together to manage these risks. Ergonomics play a clear role in this activity. It aims at prevention by its nature. Across Europe, millions of workers suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Around three in five workers in the EU report suffering from MSDs, according to the Sixth European Working Conditions Survey.

Fight against MSDs

The most common work-related MSDs are low back pain and upper limb pain. Physical, organizational, psychosocial and individual factors can contribute to the development of these pathologies. According to the 2019 European Business Survey on New and Emerging Risks, the most frequently mentioned risk factor in the EU-27 is exposure to repetitive hand and arm movements (cited by 65% companies). Other risk factors associated with MSDs include prolonged periods of sitting (61%), lifting or moving people or heavy loads (52%), time constraints (45%) , and tiring or painful positions (31%).

Healthy Workplaces campaigns are essential for raising awareness of occupational safety and health. The message of these campaigns is clear: “Healthy workplaces. An asset for you. An asset for the company! ” Of their kind, these campaigns are the largest in the world and each focuses on a clearly defined theme. Topics of previous campaigns range from promoting risk assessment and prevention to raising awareness of sustainable work. Without forgetting the protection of workers against dangerous substances. The campaigns also focus on small and medium-sized businesses. On vulnerable groups of workers, so that we can reach those who need help the most.

Ergonomists as leaders

Ergonomists have experience in organizing participatory interventions in the workplace. They have developed strategies and practices to improve design activity in companies. Much of the risk associated with safety and health can be derived from poor ergonomic design.

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Ergonomists are committed to creating safe and healthy workplaces with the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. The Federation of European Ergonomics Societies has applied to become an official partner of the Healthy Workplaces – Lighten the Load 2020-2022 and Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) campaign.

Launch of the campaign

The campaign aims to tackle the problem of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). It also aims to improve the lives of workers. Any European or international organization or company with representatives in more than one EU Member State can apply. Being a campaign partner means being ready to get involved. It means organizing a conference, seminar or training. Give visibility to the campaign (website, social networks). Relay information from EU-OSHA, encourage cooperation between partners. Actively promote the strategic objectives of the campaign

Supporting the campaign helps increase its visibility, publicize its activities and expand its network. The internal partner selection process will take place in January 2021. The selected organizations will be contacted shortly thereafter. The EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Campaign is officially launched on Monday 12 October at a press conference in Brussels.

Will participate: The European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, the German Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil and the Executive Director of EU-OSHA, Christa Sedlatschek.

For more information: Go live Monday, October 12 for the launch of the campaign.