Preventıon of musculoskeletal dısorders and psychosocıal rısks ın the workplace: EU strategıes and future challenges


A large body of research points to work implications in the onset of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Individual, physical, psychological, social and work-related aspects as well as other occupational and non-occupational factors are recognised as playing a role in work-related MSDs. Over time, psychosocial risks have assumed increasing relevance in the study of determinants of MSDs.

There is strong evidence that psychosocial and organisational factors raise the risk of MSDs, especially when combined with physical risks. This discussion paper gives an overview of the prevalence of MSDs in Europe and looks at the case of Italy, where a growing phenomenon of MSDs in the workplace has been recorded.

The paper further outlines EU directives, strategies and policies as well as European initiatives targeting the prevention of work-related MSDs, such as the EU-OSHA 2020-2022 campaign ‘Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load’. This paper concludes by underlining the need for an integrated, holistic and multidisciplinary approach to managing and preventing MSDs.

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