Ergonomics

Musculoskeletal DisordersMinistry of Labour Inspection Initiatives

Healthy Workers in Healthy Workplaces (MSDs and Respiratory Hazards)

MOL Focused inspections: October 1 - December 27, 2019

  • Free MSDs and Respiratory Hazards Safety Tool kit: Want to get ready for the Healthy Workers in Healthy Workplaces initiative? You’ll love our free, downloadable safety tool kit. It includes links to resources, training and a recorded webinar on what the inspections will focus on and how you can prepare. The webinar is presented by WSPS and the MOL.
    Download the tool kit today!

What are MSDs?

MSDs are injuries that affect muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Injuries can develop when the same muscles are used repetitively, or for a long time without adequate rest. This type of injury increases if the force exerted is high and/or the job requires aw awkward posture. Some examples of MSDs include back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and tenosynovitis.

MSDs do not include musculoskeletal injuries or disorders that are the direct result of a traumatic event, such as a fall, being struck by or against an object, being caught in or on something, a vehicle collision,
or workplace violence.

What the law says

Employers are required by law to take every reasonable precaution to protect workers from hazards, including those that may result in MSD injuries. The MSD prevention guideline, announced in February 2007, is clear about employers' obligations. Numerous sections under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations relate to MSD prevention and ergonomics.

How MSDs can affect your business

MSDs account for 43% of all work-related injuries, 43% of all lost-time claim costs, and 46% of all lost-time days. (Source: MOL: Prevention Workplace Pains and Strains! It's time to take action!)

Between 2003 and 2007, MSD claims resulted in 2.5 million days off work. During this same period, Ontario employers paid more than $1 billion in direct and indirect costs related to MSDs. Indirect costs include overtime, equipment modifications, administration, retraining and lost productivity.

Employers can improve their bottom line and employee morale by fitting the work environment to the worker. Less strenuous tasks make it easier to train workers. Healthy workers, free from discomfort, are more efficient.

What you can do

Handle MSD risk factors the way you would any other workplace hazard: identify where workers could sustain an MSD injury and eliminate or control it. Make MSD prevention a key element of your workplace health and safety program. Apply ergonomic principles early in the design phase of a new process or task to save money.

Steps you can take:

  • Familiarize yourself with MSD hazards in your workplace.
  • Perform your own audit.
  • Establish controls to reduce worker exposure to MSD risk factors.
  • Have a well-documented MSD program visibly in place.
  • Implement MSD-specific strategies, tools and training.
  • Train workers about the MSD risk factors in their job and in the workplace.
  • Encourage workers to report MSD symptoms or concerns.

NEW Ontario MSD Prevention Guideline Now Available!

This free and easy to use online tool is available for you to prevent MSDs in your workplace. Visit msdprevention.com to access the tool.

Downloads

Job Aid - Manual Material Handling

Job Aid - Manual Material Handling

MSD hazard awareness information for manual material handling.
888 KB PDF
Loading Docks and Warehouses

Loading Docks and Warehouses

There are many hazards associated with loading docks.  This guideline outlines these hazards and offers some safe work guidelines to eliminate or minimalize the risk.
278 KB PDF
Manual Materials Handling

Manual Materials Handling

Most workplaces have a manual materials handling operation.  Each handling task poses unique demands on the worker.  These tasks can be performed safely and easily by implementing and upholding proper policies and procedures.
368 KB PDF
MSD Hazards Checklist

MSD Hazards Checklist

A checklist to assess the ergonomic risks of each job task.
317 KB PDF
MSD Risk Assessment

MSD Risk Assessment

This document will help you determine if there is a high risk of injury once the potential risk of a musculoskeletal disorder has been identified.
483 KB PDF
Musculoskeletal disorders: two steps to managing your risk

Musculoskeletal disorders: two steps to managing your risk

Small and medium-sized companies struggle to find best practices that can reduce sprains and strains in the workplace. What's the business case for prevention? What does the law say? Discover the two basic steps you need to take to manage this top hazard in your organization, and click on links to additional resources specifically relevant to you.

120 KB PDF
Office Workstation Design

Office Workstation Design

This document outlines how workstation layout, lighting and task design can affect the physical and visual demands on people who work with computers.
585 KB PDF
Physical Demands Analysis (Fillable Form)

Physical Demands Analysis (Fillable Form)

A physical demands analysis (PDA) is a systematic procedure to quantify and evaluate the physical, cognitive, and environmental demands of the essential and non-essential tasks of a job.

See "Physical Demands Analysis Instruction" for assistance to complete this form.

731 KB pdf
Physical Demands Analysis (Instruction)

Physical Demands Analysis (Instruction)

This is an instruction to help you with completing the "Physical Demands Analysis (Fillable Form)".

733 KB pdf
Safety Check: Dish Washing Safety

Safety Check: Dish Washing Safety

Dish washing safety tips for workers.
488 KB PDF
Safety Check: Manual Material Handling Safety

Safety Check: Manual Material Handling Safety

Manual material handling safety tips for workers.
482 KB PDF
Safety Check: Mopping Spills Safety

Safety Check: Mopping Spills Safety

Mopping spills safety tips for workers.
481 KB PDF
Safety Check: Office Workstation Safety

Safety Check: Office Workstation Safety

Office workstation safety tips for workers.
471 KB PDF
Safety Check: Pallet Jack Safety

Safety Check: Pallet Jack Safety

Pallet jack safety tips for workers.
506 KB PDF
Safety Check: Shovelling

Safety Check: Shovelling

Shovelling safety tips for workers.
533 KB 
WSPS Ergonomics Poster

WSPS Ergonomics Poster

Ergonomics is more than just comfortable chairs. It's about making our environment work with our abilities and limitations. It includes the organizational, cognitive and physical fit with our environment.

249 KB 

Consulting Services

Consulting Services Awareness Sessions

Consulting Services Awareness Sessions

Awareness sessions are presentations of up to 2 hours in length delivered at your workplace by WSPS consultants. They are designed to help meet your legal duty to provide information about workplace hazards to employees.


General Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

Integrating health and safety into your workplace is good business.  WSPS’ consultants employ a results-based approach to health, safety and environment, focused on building self-reliance,  and enabling your organization to implement, manage and continually improve your health and safety programs.

Training

Building an MSD Prevention Program (Four 1/2 day modules)

Building an MSD Prevention Program (Four 1/2 day modules)

NEW! This course is designed for a group of individuals (employees and management) interested in working together to apply ergonomics principles in the workplace for the purpose of improving working conditions while controlling MSD hazards.

  • On-site
Call for pricing

Conducting Office Ergonomic Assessments (1 day)

Conducting Office Ergonomic Assessments (1 day)

This comprehensive workshop includes proven methodology and practical hands-on training. Currently available for on-site location delivery.
1 scheduled date(s)
  • Classroom
  • On-site
$249.00

F05 - Conducting Office Ergonomic Assessments (Federal) - English

F05 - Conducting Office Ergonomic Assessments (Federal) - English

NEW! This course provides federally regulated workplaces with proven methodology to identify the root causes of office musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and conduct workstation assessments. Disponible en français.

  • Classroom
  • On-site
$209.00

F06 - Comment effectuer des évaluations ergonomiques de bureau (législation fédérale) - Français

F06 - Comment effectuer des évaluations ergonomiques de bureau (législation fédérale) - Français

NOUVEAU! Ce cours fournit au personnel des entreprises sous réglementation fédérale une méthodologie éprouvée pour déterminer les causes fondamentales des troubles musculosquelettiques et effectuer des évaluations de postes de travail. Available in English.

  • Classroom
  • On-site
$209.00

Safe Lifting (1/2 day )

Safe Lifting (1/2 day )

Safe Lifting is a half-day, practical course designed to provide training on performing proper lifting techniques. Supervisors and other appropriate personnel are additionally equipped to deliver 10 min Safe Lifting safety talks to their employees.
  • On-site
Call for pricing

E-Courses

(ON) Office Ergonomics in Ontario (1 hour)

(ON) Office Ergonomics in Ontario (1 hour)

Find solutions to ergonomic issues for your Ontario workplace.
View Details 
$49.00

La manutention manuelle des matériaux (français) (1 heure)

La manutention manuelle des matériaux (français) (1 heure)

Ce cours permet aux participants d'apprendre comment prévenir les blessures liées à la manutention manuelle des matériaux (MMM) dans leur milieu de travail en développant les compétences nécessaires pour repérer et maîtriser les facteurs de risque associés aux travaux comportant de la MMM

View Details 
$49.00

L'ergonomie au bureau (français) (1 heure)

L'ergonomie au bureau (français) (1 heure)

Ce cours a pour but de fournir aux participants des connaissances leur facilitant la recherche de solutions à des problèmes d'ergonomie en milieu de travail.

View Details 
$49.00

Les troubles musculosquelettiques : prévention (français) (1 heure)

Les troubles musculosquelettiques : prévention (français) (1 heure)

Ce cours expose les principes d'ergonomie et les méthodes d'organisation du travail qui constituent les principales mesures de prévention.

View Details 
$64.00

Lifting It Right: 2014 Online Edition (30 min)

Lifting It Right: 2014 Online Edition (30 min)

Online course by the Automotive Lift Institute, Inc. (ALI) and hosted by racing legends Richard and Kyle Petty.

View Details 
$24.00

Manual Materials Handling (English) (1 hour)

Manual Materials Handling (English) (1 hour)

Learn how to prevent manual material handling (MMH) injuries at your workplace by developing the skills needed to identify and control risk factors associated with MMH work.
View Details 
$49.00

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): Awareness

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): Awareness

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are a potential risk for all sectors and occupations. They can cause discomfort, fatigue, pain, injury, and illness to workers. In fact, work-related musculoskeletal injuries are the most frequent type of lost-time injury and are the largest source of lost-time worker compensation costs in Canada.
View Details 
$0.00

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): Prevention (English) (1 hour)

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs): Prevention (English) (1 hour)

This course focuses on good ergonomics principles and work organization as key prevention measures.
View Details 
$64.00

Office Ergonomics (English) (1 hour)

Office Ergonomics (English) (1 hour)

The goal of the course is to provide you with the knowledge to help find solutions to ergonomic issues in your workplace.
View Details 
$49.00

Webinars

Are You Ready for the MOL Manufacturing Blitz?

Are You Ready for the MOL Manufacturing Blitz?

This webinar will be of interest to all firms in the industrial sector, that have key hazards associated with manufacturing processes, including guarding and lockout, workplace violence, MSDs, occupational disease (noise and chemical exposure), as well as those that are looking to strengthen their internal responsibility system.
$0.00

Articles

10 ways to keep MSDs at bay

10 ways to keep MSDs at bay

Varying movement is an essential strategy for preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on the job. 
"It gets the blood flowing and the muscles working and boosts physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being," says WSPS Ergonomics Specialist Don Patten. 
May 14, 2018
5 ways RSI Day can help you prevent MSDs

5 ways RSI Day can help you prevent MSDs

February 28 is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, an annual international event to raise awareness of RSIs. Why all the attention? These injuries represent one in three lost-time injury claims in Ontario. For employers, this translates in to 345,000 days lost and $57 million in WSIB costs every year.*

Feb 26, 2018
How gender can impact your MSD risk

How gender can impact your MSD risk

Do you consider gender differences when designing your workplace? It's important to recognize and understand that there are a range of needs in your place of work.
Jan 19, 2018
6 low-tech, low-cost ergo solutions for small business

6 low-tech, low-cost ergo solutions for small business

"When it comes to addressing ergonomic issues," says WSPS ergonomist Mike Lanigan, "small business employers tell me they face three big challenges: cost, time, and resources. 'This is why I can't do it,' they say. "These are very real challenges for businesses of any size," continues Mike, "but low-tech, low-cost solutions exist."

Oct 06, 2016

Videos

Musculoskeletal Disorder Innovations in the Construction Sector

Musculoskeletal Disorder Innovations in the Construction Sector

Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) - Dr. Desre Kramer
Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA) – Enzo Garritano

How can you persuade employers and workers in the construction sector to adopt new ways of doing work that will reduce their musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)?

Jun 10, 2011