Workers Health & Safety Centre

OHCOW helps take action on MSDs with new PainPoint App

OHCOW helps take action on MSDs with new PainPoint App
Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) have introduced a new app to help workers and others identify and prevent work-related musculoskeletal pain.
Called PainPoint, this handy smartphone app delivers a very basic ergonomic assessment by running through a series of diagrams and questions to pinpoint musculoskeletal pain and possible sources.
The results are depicted on a body map along with practical prevention solutions to address workplace risk factors that give rise to musculoskeletal pain and disorders (MSDs).
According to Curtis VanderGriendt, the OHCOW ergonomist responsible for developing the app content, PainPoint is based on a discomfort survey tool used by OHCOW over the years to help the workers and workplace deal with musculoskeletal pain and MSDs.

How it works

To use the app the user follows three easy steps:
Step 1. Enter the intensity and frequency for each specific pain point.
Step 2. Answer a series of questions about work.
Step 3. Take action against pain by following the recommendations. 


After the user has answered questions about the work they do the app provides recommendations to reduce or eliminate musculoskeletal pain. 
There are three recommendations given for each workplace risk factor that can cause pain and MSDs. Some of the risk factors listed include prolonged sitting, standing, bending/twisting, lifting, gripping and keyboarding/mousing.
Under keyboarding/mousing for example, the recommendations are as follows: 
  • Use voice-controlled technology.
  • Use keyboard shortcut keys.
  • Alternate with hand-free tasks or take breaks.

The app also provides an action plan that can be used to implement workplace changes to help prevent MSDs in future.
Since the PainPoint app was released to the public in October, VanderGriendt says that they have received positive feedback by users, professional ergonomists and others.
OHCOW received similar praise for a Workplace Stress app they released in 2014. This app was designed to help workers and other workplace parties understand working conditions and workplace factors that generate unhealthy stress and to provide a starting point for discussions to pursue prevention. 
OHCOW is currently developing a third app on Indoor Air Quality.
For our part, the Workers Health and Safety Centre continues to assist workplace parties through training programs and information services aimed at raising awareness about the work-related risk factors responsible for musculoskeletal pain and MSDs and targeting prevention at the workplace level. Many OHCOW tools are also included in our programs. The new PainPoint app surely will be too.
To learn more:
Visit  or
Call 1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a WHSC training services representative.
Want to know more about OHCOW’s PainPoint app?
Want to know more about OHCOW’s Measure Workplace Stress app?