Mississauga, ON: October 1, 2016 - Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) is pleased to team up with its Health and Safety Ontario partners to participate in Global Ergonomics Month, an international initiative to raise awareness of ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Themed, Work Shouldn't Hurt, the Ontario outreach campaign is intended to raise awareness about potential MSD hazards in the workplace and to provide tips for working smarter, not harder.
MSDs are injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system which includes the muscles, tendons, nerves and spine. MSDs occur when the demands of the job exceed the abilities of the worker such as; sedentary and repetitive work, force from lifting and pushing, and awkward postures that can affect bones, joints and ligaments.
"We are delighted to join our system partners in this month long effort to help eliminate workplace strains and pains," says Lynn Brownell, Acting President & CEO, WSPS. "MSDs cause a tremendous financial burden for employers so it is important to help them understand how they can prevent them so they can keep their workers healthy and on the job."
In 2015, MSD claims amongst WSPS member firms accounted for 32 per cent of all work-related lost-time injuries, 28 per cent of all lost-time claim costs, and 30 per cent of all lost-time days, resulting in over $360 million in direct costs over the life of the claim (including short-term disability, survivor benefits, health care and rehabilitation services).1
"Ergonomics is about optimizing our fit with our environment to make it compatible with our abilities and limitations. It includes the physical, cognitive, and organizational fit with our environment," says Sandra Patterson, WSPS Ergonomist. Factors such as working hours, mental workload, and workplace culture and communication all play a role in practicing good ergonomics.
"Simple low-cost solutions are often all that is needed to offset the impact of these hazards on both the employee and the organization," says Patterson.
There are many preventative measures companies and employees can do to recognize and reduce MSD hazards:
- Educate staff on the effects of MSD hazards in the workplace;
- Implement safe work practices to reduce an employee’s exposure to an MSD hazard;
- Encourage employees to report symptoms early to avoid long-term MSDs from occurring; and
- Consider getting advice from a qualified ergonomist to help prioritize needs, isolate specific hazards, and offer solutions to ensure a safe workplace, to name just a few.
"Through education and awareness, both employers and employees are better positioned to create a safer, more productive workplace by recognizing, reporting and reducing the risk of MSD hazards. It's about working smarter, not harder!" adds Brownell.
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 our 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 162,000 member firms, WSPS is primarily focused on the agricultural, industrial/manufacturing and service sectors. A key player in the Ontario occupational health & 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.