Workers Health & Safety Centre

Have your say on significant update to CSA Office Ergonomic Standard

Have your say on significant update to CSA Office Ergonomic Standard
The CSA Group (formerly Canadian Standards Association) is seeking public input on a draft of a newly updated Office Ergonomics Standard.  
Deadline for submissions is March 17, 2017.
To read the full draft CSA Group document and offer your input, you will first need to register with the CSA Group.
The proposed Standard, entitled Office Ergonomics – An application standard for workplace ergonomics, outlines a wide range of requirements for the application of ergonomics in office settings. The intended application includes traditional offices, as well as home and mobile workplaces.
A quick review of the CSA Group’s draft standard reveals a range of concerns. Overall, it lacks the depth and clarity offered in CSA-Z412-00 (R2016) ─ Guideline on Office Ergonomics reaffirmed just last year. The draft Standard is intended to replace CSA-Z412-00 (R2016).
The draft proposal fails to deliver detailed guidance for worker training, including examples of content needed to ensure effective learning, as was provided in CSA-Z412-00 (R2016). Equally troubling is the fact specific training for all workplace parties including employers, supervisors, joint health and safety committee members and worker representatives is not explicitly outlined.  
The need to train a range of workplace parties was spelled out in the original CSA-Z412-00 (R2016) ─ Guideline on Office Ergonomics. For instance, education and training for supervisors was needed so they “understand the importance of worker participation, know how to prevent problems, and encourage healthy habits among their employees, such as varying tasks and taking small breaks from computer work. They also need to know what to do when a worker exhibits the signs and symptoms of injury or is returning to work with an injury.”
Given MSDs remain the single largest class of allowed, lost-time compensation claims and their prevention remains a significant employer responsibility, this training gap is significant.
Further, the proposed standard also fails to address the important role of worker participation through joint health and safety committees, worker health and safety representatives in smaller workplaces and ergonomic-specific committees.
For our part, the WHSC offers a number of ergonomic programs each focusing on the knowledge and tools needed to help identify the working conditions and hazards responsible for musculoskeletal pain and MSDs and participate in their resolution. These programs are critical training for joint health and safety committee members, worker representatives, workers, supervisors and employers.
Want to know about all ergonomics training programs offered by the WHSC?
Want to view additional ergonomics resources from the WHSC?

Want to know more about MSDs, ergonomics training or how the WHSC can help with all of your occupational health and safety training needs?

Call:     1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a training services representative