“Not even badly”, the prevention campaign to prevent musculoskeletal disorders

They are the leading cause of occupational illnesses in the construction industry. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) continue to plague many professionals in the sector. Repetitive movements, heavy loads, vibrations, awkward positions and intense efforts can lead to their formation. In addition to the health problems that this causes for those concerned, MSDs also have a financial impact. Indeed, 186 million euros in contributions are paid by companies in the sector for these claims each year, according to the National Health Insurance Fund (Cnam).

MSDs are diseases at the periphery of joints affecting muscles, tendons, nerves and discs“, explains Pascal Girardot, manager of the professional wear field at the technical direction of the Professional organization for the prevention of building and public works (OPPBTP), during a press conference on March 29, 2023. “The upper limbs are first affected, the shoulders and wrists, then the back.” Poor work organization, noise, too high or too low temperatures and aggressive lighting are “aggravating factors“, he points.

A business approach

To raise awareness and mobilize companies and their employees on this issue, the OPPBTP is launching a national campaign from April 3 to May 13, 2023. In partnership with the State, professional organizations and other players in the sector, the organization hopes to contribute to the reduction of accidents at work and occupational diseases. “We want to make companies want to act, and make employees aware of these issues.“, says Paul Duphil, secretary general of the OPPBTP.”The appearance of pain should be a warning signal and action, but a certain number of professionals are resistant and do not want to go to the doctor.

The campaign will be based on a practical approach linked to three key phases of the construction site, delivery of materials, supply to the workstation and completion of the work; but also on an approach by profession “so that everyone appropriates the messages and tools offered“, specifies Pascal Girardot. “We know, for example, that the tilers And plumbers may encounter knee problems during their career.“Actions will be implemented regionally by local partners.

A positive message

To attract the attention of all workers, the OPPBTP has chosen to adopt a positive approach, considering prevention “as a factor of well-being“. Inspired by an old Cnam campaign, the illustration has been diverted to become playful and fun. It is a smiling character that has been drawn on the elbow of a worker, above the slogan “Not even hurt“. The latter is also the name of the platform hosting the campaign and its solutions.

OPPBTP TMS campaign
The poster of the OPPBTP prevention campaign on musculoskeletal disorders. © OPPBTP

A toolbox has been set up, bringing together 80 practical solutions, videos on adapted and efficient equipment, resources from the organization’s partners and also webinars. Six online conferences will be offered according to the specificities of six major families of trades (public works, structural work and masonry, secondary trades and finishing trades, electricity and plumbing, HVAC engineering and heating). The OPPBTP has not forgotten the future workers in the sector. He has, in fact, imagined “an MSD kit“, consisting of games and videos, for CFA teachers.

If the campaign will be deployed on traditional media and social networks, the OPPTBP is mobilizing for three months by meeting companies. In total, 500 companies will benefit from tailor-made support to encourage them to act. A diagnostic targeted, adapted to their size, will be carried out in particular. “Even small businesses can implement modern tools and preventive actions“, believes Paul Duphil. Many solutions exist. A lifting jib on a dump truck weighing less than 3.5 tonnes can reduce manual handling, and a load lifter facilitates air conditioning. Asphalt can also be applied mechanically with a mini-paver. “The objective of this campaign is also that the companions accept, for some, to work differently to protect themselves from certain risks.“, continues the leader of the organization.

“Preparing the prevention of tomorrow”

Present at the press conference, the deputy director of working conditions, health and safety at work of the General Directorate of Labor, Amel Hafid, reacted. “MSDs are a scourge. Public authorities, dedicated organizations and prevention actors have a duty to prevent these risks in order to protect the health of our fellow citizens and avoid occupational disintegration..” She recalled that some workers are “worn out by work and drop out. There is a phenomenon of exclusion which has harmful individual and collective consequences.“The representative of the State judges that”being in pain is not inherent in the construction industry” and is pleased to see the CFAs involved in the system. “We must talk to young people, promote the different professions and prepare the prevention of tomorrow.

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