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A spirit of collaboration marked a successful European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2021

A highly successful European Week for Safety and Health at Work saw both national and pan-European events take place both online and in cities across Europe from 25 to 29 October. The week was particularly notable for the number of campaign partners who joined forces to hold events dedicated to raising awareness and sharing good practices related to the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).


This was the second European Week covering the Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load campaign and the high number and variety of events that took place demonstrates that the campaign is in full swing. The easing of COVID-19-related restrictions in many countries gave new impetus to the campaign, with events being organised onsite as well as online – a sign that Europe is slowly moving to a ‘new normal’.

Working together across Europe

The strength of the Healthy Workplaces campaign network was on full display as national focal points, OSH ambassadors from the Enterprise Europe Network, media partners and organisations across Europe (our Official campaign partners) came together to organise events.

In Brussels, our national focal points from Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg organised a joint good practice event on preventing MSDs, which included presentations on sedentary work, ergonomics and effective approaches to reorganising workplaces to reduce MSDs and back pain. Official campaign partners, the European Safety Federation and EIFFAGE also collaborated in the hosting of a conference on the challenges associated with a dynamic, high-risk working environment and to look at the opportunities to improve the safety and health of all workers in the construction sector.

On a pan-European level, the Council of the European Union organised a Health and Safety conference where EU-OSHA presented the Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load campaign and updated participants on the latest news and information on COVID-19 and workplaces.

Good practice and tips to prevent MSDs in the spotlight

Many events during the European Week were dedicated to sharing good practices and practical solutions when it comes to managing and preventing MSDs. For example, Official campaign partner SAP rolled out a toolkit for its employees, providing information, tips and good practice advice on managing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and on what they can do to lighten their own load. Meanwhile, another Official campaign partner, the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP), held a virtual event to discuss their position paper on chronic pain and workplace integration and adaptation.

Events were also going strong across EU countries, including in Portugal where the focal point hosted a series of webinars focusing on good practices in the health, commerce, catering, waste treatment and electronics sectors. While in Slovakia, the EU-OSHA focal point also held a webinar, in this case on the use of ergonomics in the prevention of MSDs.

Good practice was also on the agenda during a workshop organised by the Spanish focal point, where five companies – who are competing for the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards – presented their own projects and initiatives designed to make a sustainable contribution to preventing MSDs in the workplace.

The European Week also got social media buzzing, with over 11,000 users engaging over the week resulting in over 60,000 video views and around 20,000 impressions (number of times content is displayed) recorded every day with the hashtag #EUhealthyworkplaces!

And there’s more to come

As the Healthy Workplaces campaign is still running until November 2022, there’s plenty of time to get involved, whether you just want to learn more about the topic, help spread the campaign message, or organise events in your own country, you’ll find all the information you need on the campaign website.

Make sure you visit our newest priority area on MSDs and worker diversity. Over the course of 2022, the campaign will also focus on telework, future generations and the psychosocial risks related to MSDs. And don’t forget that you can follow the campaign on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.