The European Union is being called upon to do more to address musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) - the most common work-related illness in Europe.
Back, neck and shoulder pain (alongside pain in other joints such as hands, elbows and knees) are known collectively as musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs.
"Work shouldn't hurt"
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has launched an initiative called “Work shouldn't hurt” to draw attention to the problem.
The ETUC is angry that little has been done since 2007, when the European Commission ran a consultation on possible health and safety actions, including new legislation. Progress was suspended pending a review of the EU OSH legislation in 2014-15.
Risk assessment needed
“The EU needs to act to enforce existing legislation and if necessary take new measures to end the costly plague of back, neck and shoulder pain. What is needed is proper risk assessment and involvement of workers and their safety reps in all workplaces,” said Esther Lynch, the ETUC confederal secretary in charge of health and safety at work.
To support workers and trade union health and safety reps to take up issues related to MSDs, the ETUC asked the ETUI to put together infographic posters at the conference on Ergonomics, held in Brussels in June.