OSHwiki article in the spotlight - How to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the healthcare sector
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) encompass health problems relating to muscles, tendons, the skeleton, cartilage, ligaments, nerves or the peripheral vascular system. They are the leading cause of work-related health problems in the healthcare sector, which accounts for 10 % of the overall workforce in Europe. A new OSHwiki article on the topic explains the scale of the problem, the risk factors and provides information on preventive measures.
The entry is written by Karla Van den Broek of Prevent in Belgium and explains how risk assessment is at the basis of a comprehensive approach to tackling MSDs. This includes technical, organisational and person-oriented interventions.
The healthcare sector consistently ranks among the sectors with the most work-related MSDs and this is currently being exacerbated by an ageing workforce. The most common risks include physical, mechanical, organisational, psychosocial and individual and personal factors with workers being generally exposed to several factors at the same time.
The article explains the current EU laws relating to the sector and gives a detailed explanation of different risk assessment methods examining all aspects of work related to the Task, Individual, Load and Environment (TILE). It also explains the hierarchy of prevention measures, in particular how priority has to be given to measures favouring technical and organisational measures above individual measures and those avoiding the risks of MSDs and/or manual handling.
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