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Workers at MV must be very nibbling

Unlike many other states, the proportion of physically hard work in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is increasing. Almost every third person has to lift or carry regularly, which has health consequences.

Schwerin / Berlin (dpa / mv) – In no other state do workers have to physically grab as much as in Mecklenburg and Vorpommern. While in 2018, 22.6 percent of employees regularly had to be lifted and transported, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 31.9 percent. This is a nationwide peak, as evidenced by the Federal Government's response to a small request from the left Bundestag parliamentary group, quoted by Saxon Parliamentarian Sabine Zimmermann (left).

Accordingly, employees in East Germany were generally more physically vulnerable than their counterparts in the West. Of the new states, only Brandenburg was slightly below average, at 22.2 percent, and almost at the level of North Rhine-Westphalia (22.4). Saxony-Anhalt also had a high proportion of physically hard work with 28.2 percent. It was lowest in the metropolitan states Hamburg (14.0) and Berlin (17.9).

Across the country, the share of hard work has remained almost constant since 2006. However, during the same period, data reported that the density of controls in companies had dropped dramatically. "Hard physical work and almost no health and safety checks that don't fit together," Zimmermann warned.

Musculoskeletal disorders remain the main cause of illness. According to Zimmermann, in response to this diagnosis, 150 million sick days were spent throughout Germany in 2017, citing a small request. That was almost a quarter more than five years earlier. About 23 percent of all lost days are due to musculoskeletal disorders.

According to the German government's response, 26 percent of workers in the northeast regularly work in forced positions. Nationwide, it is almost 17 percent. As expected, there are high physical loads in construction and agriculture, but also in health and gastronomy.

Zimmermann critically reviewed work inspection controls at permanent outlets. Although there were 347,240 health and safety inspections nationwide in 2007, only 182,504 remained in 2017, with reductions of 67 and 68 percent, respectively, a reduction in controls in Brandenburg and Saxony is particularly drastic. Thus, on average, it takes 33 years, while the controlled operation in Saxony will not review the controlled operation again.

In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where the density of checks has not decreased so drastically, farms are monitored on average every five and a half years. Occupational health and safety in the country has been reduced by one-third in a decade.

"The provincial governments have been accused by the occupational safety authorities of massively reducing staff and regaining control," Zimmermann said. Prevention of accidents at work and occupational diseases is a good thing and countries should not leave workers.

"Prevention in the workplace means shaping working conditions from the beginning in such a way that the burden is avoided at an early age – and not only afterwards, for example, when back problems and other bone-marrow disorders are already there," the opposition warned politician.

The analysis was based on data from the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and various health insurance companies.

Risk assessment under physical stress