Two thirds of Belgian businesses have to deal with psychosocial and muscular-skeletal risks to their staff managers. This is according to the European business inquiry into new and emerging risks (ESENER), performed by the European Agency for health and safety at work. Psychosocial risks are the most frequently picked up on. They can be caused by difficult confrontations with clients, patients, students… they concerned 65% of Belgians (58% for the UE). Time pressure came next (43%).
Factors that lead to muscular-skeletal risks include tiring or painful positions (59.8% in Belgium) and repetitive movements of the hands or arms (48.4%). They often occur in all business sectors.
Around two thirds of Belgian businesses (66.5%, compared to 77.2% in the UE) regularly analyse the risks, which the Agency says is the best way to fight them.
In Belgium, 42.3% of businesses use internal personnel for this analysis. 34.4% choose to have the work place inspected by external sub-contractors. Only 23.3% of companies use both (internal personnel and external sub-contractors).
One company in four that does not regularly analyse the risks say they don’t do so because they already know about them and the dangers they pose(83%), or because they have no major problems (80%).
The inquiry looked at nearly 50,000 businesses (of all sizes) from 36 countries, 28 of which were EU members. The questions asked during the inquiry were addressed to those who are most familiar with health and safety in the work place.
Sarah Johansson (Source: Belga)