Workers Health & Safety Centre is encouraging worker reps to complete an ergonomics survey designed to help influence Ontario’s response to workplace musculoskeletal disorders.
WHSC helped draft the survey as a member of an ergonomics advisory committee which includes representatives from all the system partners and is chaired by the Ministry of Labour’s provincial ergonomist.
The Health and Safety System Ergonomics Survey
takes about five minutes to complete. The results are strictly confidential. The survey is available online until June 30.
Updating MSD Prevention Guideline
The survey is part of an initial action plan developed by the ergonomics advisory committee. The WHSC was successful in ensuring the plan included review and revision of the Ontario’s MSD Prevention Guideline. The Guideline, developed by the system partners ten years ago, sets out a prevention framework for workers and employers wanting to take action on MSD prevention. An initial review of the Guideline was to have occurred five years after its introduction.
The Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders will lead a project to revise Ontario's MSD Prevention Guideline and resource material
. WHSC will be participating on the project’s advisory committee. The project aims to create a new document that gives clearer guidance to a range of workplaces—in different sectors and of different sizes—about the tools that can be used to identify and assess MSD risk factors.
The MSD Prevention Guideline and Toolbox are the basis of two popular WHSC training programs Ergonomics: Injuries, Risk Factors and Design Principles
and Ergonomic Toolbox
. Like all WHSC ergonomics training, these focus on the knowledge and tools needed to help identify the working conditions and hazards responsible for musculoskeletal pain and disorders. Equally important, they offer essential insight into prevention solutions.
Need for regulation and training
Many believe however, Ontario workers and their representatives need more than guidelines and tools. The incidence of musculoskeletal disorders among Ontario workers has changed little in decades. MSDs still account for almost 40 per cent of approved lost-time injuries in Ontario.
Despite a few narrow provisions addressing lifting and material handling, Ontario health and safety law offers little specific protection against MSD hazards. Health and safety advocates have long called for bolder action in the form of a comprehensive prevention strategy and which includes a specific ergonomics regulation to help protect workers from these crippling injuries.
WHSC offers a range of MSD prevention resources
and ergonomics training programs
. Have questions or need more information?
and ask to speak with a training services representative.