EPSU supports ETUC demand for EU Action on Musculosketetal Disorders
(Brussels, 20 June 2012) Despite years of discussion and demands of the European Parliament the European Commission has still not come forward with legislation to address what is regarded in the 2010 European survey on working conditions one of the more important occupational diseases. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) affect all industries and services such as health care, but is also prevalent in many administrations. It is the source of a significant proportion of absences due to illness and, in the most severe cases, can prevent workers from keeping their jobs. In many European countries, musculoskeletal disorders are causing the highest number of recognised and compensated occupational diseases. The worsening situation is related to the intensification of work, to the still very strong prevalence of repetitive work and to the interaction of physical factors (such as inadequate equipment) and psycho-mental factors. In the health sector problems are also linked to the increasing number of cases where health workers have to transport, carry and give basic care to rather heavy or obese patients in hospitals and long-term care institutions, not seldom several times during a working day/shift.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), supported by EPSU, Uni-Europa and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW), are now jointly demanding the European Commission to take action and to present a comprehensive directive on musculoskeletal disorders after dithering for almost ten years. Also the European Parliament has called for such a directive. The European Trade Union Confederation wishes to stress that the European Commission must assume political responsibility and submit without delay a draft directive to allow the Parliament and the Council of Ministers to fulfill their role.
For the joint letter:
Further reading: Publication by European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)
EN: ETUI (2007): Musculoskeletal disorders. An ill-understood pandemic
FR: ETUI (2007): Troubles musculosquelettiques. Une pandémie mal comprise