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    In a good working environment are healthy employees  

    MSDs are one of the most common work-related health problems in Europe. It affects millions of workers and costs employers billions of euros a year.

    In November this year, the 3 year long European campaign “Healthy Workplaces Reduce the Burden”, organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), which focuses specifically on work-related MSDs, will come to an end. The campaign draws attention across Europe to the prevention of MSDs – what can be done by the worker himself, what the employer can do, so that there are fewer of these ailments and people work health sustainably until old age.

    Within the framework of the campaign, we have organised several seminars in Estonia that focused on forced positions and repetitive movements, and we also talked about changes in the working environment in the coronavirus crisis. Occupational Health Day conferences traditionally take place in November. Last year, the XXIII Occupational Health Day conference was held, which was also dedicated to musculoskeletal problems and ergonomic work. Due to the threat of COVID-19, occupational health day was again held online. Topics this time included ergonomics of smart devices, hybrid work and home office, keeping eyes, the importance of risk analysis of the working environment in the implementation of new technology, and mental health action plans in the workplace.

    This year, the focus of the campaign is on children and young people. Many children and young people have MSDs that can flare up when they start working. Excess weight and lack of exercise can increase the risk of MSDs in young people and children, but these ailments can be prevented.

    In Estonia, seminars on musculoskeletal disorders are again planned in the autumn of this year: on 30st August in Tartu and on 31st August in Tallinn. On 27th  September, the first seminar will take place at Tallinn University of Technology, where we will talk to young people about occupational health and safety in general. More detailed information can be found on the website of the Labour Inspectorate https://www.ti.ee/

    Who has the best working environment?

    The XXIV Occupational Health Day conference will take place this year on 8 November in the hall of Tallinn University of Technology. The schedule is still being specified and the information will be published on the website of the Labour Inspectorate. One thing is certain – at the conference we will announce the winners of the “Good Working Environment 2022” award.

    Every year, the Labour Inspectorate commends companies for developing a good working environment. We would like to highlight companies that value a working environment that protects the health of employees and emphases the work safety. In these companies, employers are aware of the risks, risk analysis is integrated into the work process, the risks affecting the health of employees are constantly assessed and managed quickly and efficiently. In order to promote a safety culture, we want the company/organisation to describe in the application one situation where they have made the work process safer, introduced a change that preserves the health of employees or improved the system so that the working environment has changed for the better. In essence, this is a best practice that other organizations could take as an example in the development of the working environment.

    The award is given in two categories: a company with less than 50 employees and more than 50 employees.

    We invite companies to apply for the award! The deadline for submitting an application is September 23. More information https://www.ti.ee/et/teavitustegevus-infomaterjalid/hea-tookeskkond-auhind.

    Kristel Abel
    Media Adviser, Labour Inspectorate

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