The social partners in agriculture, GEOPA-COPA and EFFAT, have agreed to engage in sectoral negotiations on MSD (as stated in their European agreement, see annex), with the aim of formulating a number of concrete proposals on the reduction of workers’ exposure to the risk of work-related musculo-skeletal disorders. In this agreement, defining and coordinating policies for the prevention of MSD are mentioned. The goal of the project VS/2008/0530 and VP/2012/0421 was to implement the European social partners’ agreement by developing prevention policies and good practices to reduce MSD, and to disseminate the results through the development of a website, brochures and a final event.

Project partners

Project coordinator:

IDEWE, External prevention service for safety and health at work, Belgium
Prof. Dr. Veerle Hermans, Department Head of Ergonomics
Claire Baukens, Steven Amandels, ergonomists
Pieter Claes, Coordinator Digital Media

Project partners:

Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors
Prof. David O’Neill, Chief Executive

Swedisch University Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
Prof. Peter Lundqvist, Head of the division Work Science at the Department of Agricultural Biosystems and Technology
Dr. Stefan Pinzke, Dr. Christina Kolstrup

Stigas, the Netherlands
Dr. Ad de Rooij, medical doctor

CBAO, Coordination council of Bulgarian Agricultural Organisations (
Ludmilla Todorova, president

Supporting partner

GEOPA-COPA, European Farmers – Europan Agri-cooperatives
Chris Botterman, representative

PreventAgri, service de la Mission Wallonne des secteurs verts
Leny Bette, secretary general

Project phases

Observational visits:

Based on the Déparis method of the participatory SOBANE strategy (Malchaire, 2007), information was gathered with the farmers on MSD risks of each of the tasks and the possible solutions to prevent or reduce them.
Several visits were organized, taking into account seasonal differences regarding daily working practices. The outcomes of the visits were summarized in a brochure per task.

Number of visits

In 2013, 50 additional visits were planned, resulting in 80 practices.

Several meetings were attended/organised by the project partners in the respective country. Dissemination of information
Based on all the collected information, a summary of good practices was formulated per chosen task and presented in brochures (link brochures); These brochures and other gathered information from several member states is presented on this website so that all social partners working in agriculture can find information on how to prevent or reduce MSD. At the end of the project, all EU social partners were invited to the seminar were the results of the project were presented.

project partners 2012