European Week: campaign on MSDs
Sheila Pantry OBE
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work is devoting its 2007 annual information campaign to the prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs).
The European campaign on MSDs - Lighten the load - seeks to promote an integrated management approach to tackle musculoskeletal problems, embracing both the prevention of MSDs and the retention, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers who already suffer from MSDs by:
- Taking forward European action on MSDs initiated by the first European Week for Safety and Health at Work in 2000.
- Extending the scope of campaign activities in terms of themes covered, and
- Involving all 27 Member States, candidate countries and EFTA/EEA (European Free Trade Association/European Economic Area) countries in the campaigning activities.
Lighten the load is a decentralised campaign co-ordinated and supported at the European level by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, with implementation by Member States through a network of national Focal Points.
The European Agency produces and distributes information and promotional materials including leaflets, posters and factsheets in the EU22 languages with more information on the multilingual campaign website including an Information Pack, Ideas for action, quizzes, animations and the latest Napo animated film.
National Focal Point organise and promote national activities throughout Europe.
Organisations and individuals are encouraged to get involved, organise their own events and activities, and help reduce the number of work-related MSDs.
The Lighten the load campaign is targeted primarily at the workplace level and at those involved in the implementation of OSH measures:
- Workers and their representatives
- Safety representatives and OSH practitioners
- OSH prevention and insurance services, and
- Others providing assistance and information at workplace level
A key activity at the European level is the organisation of the Good Practice Awards. These recognise companies and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to preventing and tackling MSDs, and rehabilitating and reintegrating employees with MSDs into the workplace.
In addition, European organisations are encouraged to become European Partners in the campaign, and everyone is invited to let the Agency know what actions they have taken after the European Week in October through a simple online questionnaire.
The campaign was launched officially on 4 June 2007, and the European Week will be held from 22 and 26 October 2007 (week 43) with a closing event in March 2008.
More information on MSDs is available at MSDs Single Entry Point: https://osha.europa.eu/en/themes/musculoskeletal-disorders
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