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The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the crucial importance of health, including health and safety at work. This initiative builds on the previous EU Strategic Framework 2014-2020. It aims to maintain and improve the high health & safety standards for EU workers - also in light of new circumstances, and will help to prepare for new crises and threats. It will identify key objectives and set out a strategic framework to encourage EU countries and stakeholders to work together on common priorities.


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What are work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), why is it so important to prevent them and how can we do this? Our new info sheet explains it all!

From details of different MSDs health issues and the associated risk factors to clearly laid out facts and figures that demonstrate just how prevalent these debilitating disorders are, the info sheet is an invaluable and practical resource.


© EU-OSHA / David Tijero Osorio

Moving loads, awkward postures and vibrations from machinery all take their toll on the body: it is no surprise then that construction workers face an increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

A new discussion paper explores this issue and looks at the importance of effective risk assessment.

facts and figures

Did you know that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are workers’ number one health complaint across European workplaces, having a substantial impact on health, businesses and national economies? A special section on the Lighten the Load campaign website tells you everything you need to know about the nature and extent of this issue and the business case for tackling MSDs in the workplace.

Resources available under this section include an info sheet, research reports, case studies, practical tools and guidance with up-to-date information, statistics and advice.


On 1 January 2021, Portugal took over the Council Presidency from Germany. Under the Portuguese Council Presidency, the priorities for the next six months will focus on fighting poverty, exclusion and inequality, implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights, as well as on the social summit to debate a fair post-pandemic recovery.


Why get involved in the ‘Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load’ campaign? Its broad offer of tools and resources embraces a spectrum of topical issues with one purpose in mind: to help workers and employers tackle effectively musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at any workplace in Europe.

The campaign resources are organised into several  key priority areas, evenly distributed over the full duration of the campaign and wrapped up in rich and comprehensive communication packages.


EU-OSHA supports CHRODIS PLUS – an EU initiative to strengthen the inclusiveness of workplaces and the work ability of employees with chronic conditions. As part of the project, a workbox on Employment and Chronic Conditions has been published which includes two components: a training tool for managers and a toolkit for workplaces.

The training tool for managers aims to raise awareness of the benefits of inclusion and good management of employees with or at risk of chronic health problems at the workplace.



An unprecedented year that has turned the world upside down, 2020 has also become a catalyst for important achievements in occupational safety and health.

Good news from our Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) partners start with impressive numbers: over 147 000 risk assessments with OiRA tools have been carried out by micro and small enterprises all over Europe during the past decade.


© EU-OSHA/Mohammad Javad Khazaee

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can affect anyone, but research shows that groups of workers at risk of discrimination, such as women, migrants and LGBTI workers, are particularly at risk.

A new, comprehensive report establishes why these groups typically have poorer occupational safety and health conditions and what companies and public bodies can do to address the issue.

Interviews with experts, focus groups with workers and case study analyses shape new policy recommendations for the prevention of MSDs among an increasingly diverse European workforce.