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Work shouldn’t hurt. Applying ergonomic principles can prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and we have specialists who can help.

Workers in every industry are at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs): injuries to the body’s muscles, tendons and nerves, and the source of such ailments as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, back pain and more.

The good news is that by applying ergonomic best practices, we can manage MSD hazards, prevent injuries and improve workplace performance. The key is to put a plan in place before injuries occur.

WSPS experts will work with you and your staff to find personalized, cost-effective solutions to improve your work environment, protect your employees and your bottom-line.

Identify and Assess Hazards

Do you know which hazards in your workplace pose the greatest risk?
Identifying hazards and taking action to prevent possible injury or illness is vital to keeping your employees safe, your business uninterrupted and your organization in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and applicable regulations.

To prevent MSD hazards, a combination of assessments that consider both physical and cognitive demands should be considered.
Overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Let our experts be your guide.

MSD Hazard Identification Summary

The prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can only occur if you are aware of the potential hazards in your workplace.

During an MSD Hazard Identification Summary, a WSPS ergonomist will inspect your workplace and provide a report of identified MSD hazards; valuable information you can use to plan prevention activities.

Hazard identification is the first step to mitigating MSD risks. Additional assessments may be needed to ensure hazards are addressed.

Ergonomic Assessments

Completing an ergonomic risk assessment requires a strong knowledge of potential hazards in the workplace.

Our ergonomists can provide industrial ergonomic risk assessments for workstations and processes in a wide variety of industries and settings, ranging from manufacturing to agriculture. These assessments use validated risk assessment tools to identify hazards and provide solutions that support an employer's obligation to meet Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requirements.

Our ergonomic specialists also offer detailed office ergonomic risk assessments. These assessments evaluate workstation design and layout for potential musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) related hazards. A list of recommendations to reduce and/or eliminate the hazards based on the CSA Z412-17 Office Ergonomics guideline will be provided.

We can also provide industrial and office ergonomic services and support to ensure federally regulated workplaces meet all Canada Labour Code (CLC) requirements. WSPS is an Approved Vendor under the National Master Standing Offer – For Conducting Office Ergonomic Assessments.

Physical Demands Description (PDD)

A Physical Demands Description (PDD) – formerly known as Physical Demands Analysis (PDA) – is a document that identifies and quantifies the physical and environmental demands of a job’s essential and non-essential duties.

PDDs are useful for every employer to have on hand. They contain valuable information for the completion of injury claim documentation and the development of return to work and accommodation plans.

Cognitive Demands Description (CDD)

A Cognitive Demands Description (CDD) can play an integral role in a company’s ability to develop and implement a safe return to work plan when accommodating mental health concerns. They are an important element of the worker rehabilitation process and prevention of reoccurring harm.

During a CDD a WSPS ergonomist will review the specific cognitive, emotional, and psychological skills required to perform the essential duties of a job.

Lighting Assessment

Poor lighting can cause several problems. For example, it can cause a worker to misjudge the speed of oncoming traffic, hinder their quality of work, or cause eye strain.

During a lighting assessment, WSPS ergonomists will measure illuminance levels and compare the results to recognized industry standards. The lighting levels can then be adjusted to maximize productivity, improve the quality of work, and prevent discomfort.

Program Development and Implementation

Are you struggling to find the time and resources needed to build an effective musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention program, or make your current program more effective? WSPS ergonomic experts will help you take a proactive approach to MSD prevention customized for your business.

MSD Prevention Program

The key to successfully preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) is to have a plan. WSPS can help you develop an MSD prevention program that enhances worker health and safety and optimizes performance.

An ergonomist will work with you to create a personalized MSD prevention program that takes into consideration your current practices and best-in-class standards and guidelines, such as CSA Z1004 and the Ontario MSD Prevention Guideline.

Our experts will also help you create a full rollout plan so you can get your newly formalized program up and running with your staff. We can also help you through extended consulting to bring your plan to life.

Safe Work Practice Development

In addition to developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention program, WSPS ergonomists can support the inclusion of ergonomics in specific written policies. We will work with you to understand the work and operations, then create a written process designed to manage the risk of injury related to functions such as pushing, pulling, or lifting.

Design, Workflow and Process Consulting

Rarely are workflow and processes managed by any one person in an organization, but they can have a lasting impact on our physical and psychological health.

Workflow and process consulting will enhance your understanding of work design and how it may impact the success of your safety program. WSPS ergonomists will engage relevant stakeholders and help you incorporate design principles into the tasks required of your workers, as well as develop written processes designed to manage the risk of injury, reduce the risk of physical and psychological harm to your employees and benefit your business’ productivity.

Continual Improvement

A good musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention program grows with your organization. Wherever you are in your journey, WSPS can help. Through a gap analysis and health and safety audit, WSPS consultants can provide you guidance, save you time, help reduce injuries and lower costs.

Gap Analysis

Are you planning to implement a new ergonomics program in your workplace? Or would you like to know how your current safety program compares to your musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention goals?

A gap analysis evaluates the difference between your current state and the desired state. Gap analysis results will inform the development of ergonomic interventions and help prioritize the allocation of resources to areas where they are needed most. Improving the workplace environment and reducing the risk of MSDs can improve worker health, increase productivity, and reduce costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses.

Program Audit

Already have a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention program, but want to know if it is effective? WSPS can provide an objective assessment of your program during an ergonomic program audit.

This audit evaluates your current program against the requirements outlined in the Ontario MSD Prevention Guideline and CSA Z1004:12 (R2021). Verified by the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD), the audit will help identify program gaps and strengths.

If you are looking to go beyond compliance and take your MSD prevention program to the next level, our experts can support you with an ergonomics and human factors integration audit.


Our ergonomists have helped develop various learning resources and tools to increase your understanding of ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and MSD prevention.

Access these resources, along with many others, in our Resource Hub.


An effective musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention program relies on your workers and supervisors having the information they need to be active participants.

WSPS offers a variety of training courses and events that can boost awareness and understanding of ergonomics, MSDs and MSD prevention. We offer a combination of in-person, virtual and eCourse learning options to help make this a reality.

Discover the training or event that's right for you.

Are you ready for one-on-one help from an expert?

Connect with a Consultant

If you're ready to get started, or simply have questions about our services or approach, contact a WSPS specialist to find out more.

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