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"Lighten the load" finale - 19/02/2008

Construction workers doing an aerobics class

Campaign to prevent musculoskeletal disorders winds down at ceremony in Bilbao.

Nine European companies will be honoured for their outstanding and innovative contributions to the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at the closing event of the "Lighten the load" campaign on 26 February.

The conference will give occupational health and safety professionals all the latest data, and the opportunity to hear the outcome of the campaign first hand. MSDs affect millions of workers in Europe, particularly manual labourers, nurses, secretaries and machine operators. As many as a quarter of European workers suffer backache or muscular pain.

Tackling these disorders requires a two-pronged approach – not just preventing MSDs but also helping people with such problems stay at work.

The campaign promoted an integrated management approach involving

  • employers, employees and government working together;
  • addressing the whole load on the body leading to MSDs;
  • managing the retention, rehabilitation and return to work of people suffering or who have suffered MSDs.

The European agency for safety and health at work has also published a special report called "Back to work" looking at how MSDs can be tackled at work and giving an overview of European and international policy initiatives.

Check the event programme and register

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