Work-relatedmusculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) must be reduced
The presentations by the social partner experts were clear: MSDs are the most frequently cited complaint by workers in the agriculture sector. For sufferers, MSDs cause pain and discomfort, and, from a financial point of view, cost social security systems a great deal in the form of sick leave and reduced productivity as well as through early retirement on health grounds. MSDs also engender considerable costs to businesses and to the national economy as a whole. These were the main conclusions drawn at a social partners’ conference held on 22–24 October 2004 at the Marignan High Technology Conference Centre in Brussels.
Employers and union representatives from 25 countries attended the event and tasked the confederations of the European agriculture social partners with initiating negotiations on reducing MSDs. These negotiations reached their climax on 21 November 2005 with the signing of a joint agreement on reducing MSDs in Europe.