Mississauga, ON: October 2, 2017 - In support of Global Ergonomics Month, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) is pleased to announce an online and social media outreach campaign intended to raise awareness about potential hazards associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace. Themed Move More, Move Often, the campaign focuses on increasing activity to reduce injuries. It is part of the Ontario prevention system's larger Work Shouldn't Hurt MSD awareness and prevention initiative.
MSDs are injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, tendons, nerves and spine. They occur when the demands of the job exceed the abilities of the worker. Demands can include sedentary and repetitive work, force from lifting and pushing, and awkward postures that can affect bones, joints and ligaments.
"We need to take preventative measures to protect ourselves. And, it need not be complicated," says Sandra Patterson, WSPS Ergonomist. "Simple, low-cost solutions are often all that is needed to offset the impact of MSD hazards."
Patterson suggests that workers aim to offset a sedentary lifestyle by making 20-8-2 a practice throughout the day. Whether an individual is at work or at home - they are advised to sit for twenty minutes, stand for eight and then move or gently stretch for two minutes. This concept was developed by Dr. Allan Hedge, Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University.
"We are delighted to once again join our system partners in this effort to help eliminate workplace strains and pains," says Lynn Brownell, WSPS President and CEO. "MSDs cause a tremendous financial burden for employers and much of the time they are avoidable. It’s important to help employers understand how they can prevent MSDs so they can keep their workers healthy and on the job."
In 2016, MSD claims amongst WSPS member firms accounted for 32 per cent of all work-related lost-time injuries, 30 per cent of all lost-time claim costs, and 32 per cent of all lost-time days1, resulting in over $419 million in direct costs2 over the life of the claim (including short-term disability, survivor benefits, health care and rehabilitation services and administrative costs).
“Unfortunately I am not surprised by these numbers,” says Patterson. “After all, only 5% of Canadian adults3 meet the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity each week and on average, Canadian adults are sedentary for nearly 10 hours a day4. This sedentary lifestyle is hazardous to our health and we need to find an appropriate balance between sitting, walking, and standing, and replace sedentary activity with light intensity activity.”
For more information, including tips on how to prevent a MSD hazards.
About Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
WSPS is a leader in providing impactful risk management solutions that drive lasting business success for its customers. WSPS offers unparalleled health & safety expertise, insight and solutions for creating healthy work environments where employees thrive and businesses prosper. A dynamic $43-million organization servicing 165,000 member firms, WSPS is primarily focused on the agricultural, industrial/manufacturing and service sectors. A key player in the Ontario occupational health and safety system, WSPS brings together community and business leaders to influence positive change to create a safer and more profitable Ontario. For more information about WSPS, visit wsps.ca.
Stephany Babson at Stephany.Babson@wsps.ca or 905-614-1400 ext. 2334
Meagan Wadeson at Meagan.Wadeson@wsps.ca or 905-614-1400 ex. 2233
WSIB, Musculoskeletal Disorder Report by HSA Entity – WSPS (August 2017) – Schedule Type 1 - not publically available
AWCBC, Detailed Key Statistical Measures (KSM) Report (2015) – data extracted and applied by WSPS http://awcbc.org/?page_id=9759
Public Health Agency of Canada (2016, December 15). Health Status of Canadians 2016: Report of the Chief Public Health Officer - What is influencing our health? - Physical activity. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/corporate/publications/chief-public-health-officer-reports-state-public-health-canada/2016-health-status-canadians/page-13-what-influencing-health-physical-activity.html
Statistics Canada, Directly measured physical activity of Canadian adults, 2007 to 2011 http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2013001/article/11807-eng.htm