From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

New Statistics on MSDs in Europe

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has released more reports including Eurostat data concerning musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at work.
The reports use data collected from the 1999 European labour force survey (LFS) and an ad hoc module that concerned diseases, disabilities and other physical or psychological health problems, apart from accidental injuries caused or made worse by the work.

The data show that MSDs account for 53% of health problems fitting the above criteria. This computes to 4.1 million suffering from MSDs in the European workforce. It was also found that MSDs were more frequent in the construction, transport, and health and social work sectors (prevalence in these sectors is 1.2 to 1.6 times higher than average).
The following table gives more specific information:

Cases of Musculoskeletal Disorders per 100,000 workers

Work All Cases Cases with 14 or More Days Away From Work
Agriculture 2,645 817
Construction 3,158 1,292
Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repairs 2,526 814
Transport and Communications 3,160 1,070
Health and Social Work 4,283 1,179
Community, Social, Personal Services 2,666 493
Aged 55-64 3,555 1,240

Also in European news, The General Conference of the International Labour Organization has decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to safety and health in agriculture. These recommendations include considering ergonomics in the purchase of equipment and technology to be used in agriculture. The entire recommendations can be found in the publication “Safety and Health in Agriculture Recommendation, 2001.”