Journal of Ergonomics

Journal of Ergonomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7556


Development of Toolkits for Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders based on a Collaborative Platform

Bing Zhang, Enrique Álvarez Casado, Enrico Occhipinti and Pedro Mondelo

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) is currently not only a health problem in enterprises across six European regions which are Catalonia (ES), Lombardy (IT), South-West Bohemia (CZ) Upper Austria (AU), Estonia (EE), Provincie Noord-Brabantv(NL), but also impacts negatively on productivity and on the competitiveness of enterprises. This project, granted by Innovation 4 Welfare (I4W), will provide a high value to enterprises in the participating regions. However, although EU-legislation has established new and highly innovative technical standards the area of ?physical ergonomics, specifically aimed at protecting the ?working population? from biomechanical and organizational risks for WMSDs, it is still not easy for users to find a suitable tool or strategy for identifying hazards and assessing risks for purposes of WMSDs prevention effectively. Another equally important aspect is that there is a big gap between applications and the EN standards regarding to WMSD prevention within European regions. Hence, this project (TIAM) aims at developing a set of toolkits to help users find the most suitable and effective solution to the problem at hand, on the other hand, to strengthen the application of EN standards based WMSD prevention tools and methods in European workplace. As a result, four types of tools have been developed for both simple tasks and more complex variable tasks in this project. Additionally, there are two main policy recommendations which have been drawn from the result of the project: 1) Create legislative conditions supporting ergonomic methods in SMEs and risk management concerning WMSD; 2) Promote information on European legislation concerning the ergonomics and WMSD. This paper closes by suggesting that an essential element for successful prevention of WMSDs is the interaction between the workers and the policy makers, knowledge providers.