Objectives In the Czech Republic the musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) represent a major problem. Their frequency has been continually increasing to the degree that they currently rank as the second most frequent cause of temporary working disability. The MSDs represent 50% (607 cases) of the officially recognised occupational diseases (incidence 30.3/100 000 employees) and are the most frequent category of occupational diseases in the Czech Republic.
Method The authors describe the Czech Republic official national system of hazard identification and risk/exposure assessment (“Categorization of working operations”) used as a basic tool for effective risk management in enterprises (database of 74 731 subjects/enterprises in 2011) and analyse 4353 occupational MSDs during 2005–2011.
Results Working population in the Czech Republic currently totals about 4.5 million people. Of them, about 117 thousand are exposed to vibrations (» 2.6% of total work force), about 739 thousand are exposed to overload by physical work (» 16% of total work force), and about 600 thousand are working in a bad working posture (» 13% of total work force). It follows that almost 30% of the Czech total work force is exposed to a risk factor for MDSs.
Conclusions The goal of the system of categorization of working operations is to get objective and comparable data for risk assessment, optimisation of working conditions, rational measures and handling problems. Authors emphasise consultative role of occupational health services (OHSs) in the hazard identification and risk/exposure assessment.
Supported by scientific programme PRVOUK P25/LF1/2 of Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.