Judging is set to get underway for the Good Practice Awards for 2020-2022, with two winners from Ireland to be announced later this year, before they will then be entered into the pan-European competition, with overall winners announced in 2022.

The Good Practice Awards scheme is one of the main elements of the latest European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) campaign – Healthy Workplaces: LIGHTEN THE LOAD for 2020-2022 – highlights and promotes best practice in relation to the prevention and management of Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) in the workplace.

Millions of workers across Europe suffer from MSDs, which remains the most common work-related health problem, affecting the musculoskeletal system and can present in the tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels and/or nerves of the limbs and back. 

Symptoms include pain, discomfort, numbness and tingling in the affected area and can differ in severity from mild and periodic to severe, chronic and debilitating conditions.

The awards scheme serves to recognise businesses and individuals with an outstanding commitment to occupational safety and health in promoting practices that protect workers. Previous winners have included businesses in manufacturing, construction, hairdressing and the healthcare sector.

All entries must show evidence of real and demonstrable improvements in safety and health in relation to work-related MSDs, effective participation and involvement of workers and their representatives, and transferability to workplaces in other Member States, in different sectors and of different sizes.

Frank Power, HSA Ergonomist (Inspector), said the key aim is to share best practice examples of how organisations manage ergonomic risks, through consultation with workers, risk assessment and the introduction of innovative engineering and/or organisational improvements in the way work is carried out.

“These best practice examples should highlight how businesses aim to prevent and manage MSDs in the workplace.”