Preventing Ergonomic Injuries in the Workplace

    McGuinty Government Making Workplaces Safer

    KITCHENER, ON, Feb. 29 /CNW/ - New resources are available to workers and
employers to help prevent ergonomic-related injuries, which account for
40 per cent of time lost in the workplace from injury.
    Ergonomic injuries - also known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) - are
injuries of the muscles, nerves and tendons that develop over time. These
types of injuries are a significant workplace health and safety issue. The
effect of these injuries cost the economy more than $19 billion between 1996
and 2006.

    The Ministry of Labour has developed with its partners:

    -   Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) Prevention Toolbox

        The MSD Prevention Toolbox provides information on how to conduct a
        MSD risk assessment in the workplace, setting up an MSD prevention
        program and enhancing a workplace's current MSD prevention practices.
        The toolbox is the third installment of the MSD Prevention Series,
        which provides information on addressing these injuries.

    -   Online database to share information on controlling MSD hazards is a website that provides links
        to over 200 MSD prevention resources. It allows the user to browse
        for specific material based on their type of workplace, an MSD topic
        or by a specific job.

    "The McGuinty government is committed to making workplaces safer,"
said Ontario Labour Minister Brad Duguid, speaking at the Radisson Hotel. "We
are working with our partners to provide workers and employers with the
information they need to prevent injuries, stay safe, and ultimately increase
the productivity of our economy."
    "Injury prevention saves employers money, increases productivity and
improves worker health and satisfaction," said Steve Mahoney, chair of the
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
    The Ministry of Labour developed the toolbox in partnership with members
of the Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario, including the WSIB
and the Institute for Work and Health. The ministry consulted with labour
organizations, employers' associations and individual employers and workers.
The University of Waterloo's Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention
of Musculoskeletal Disorders provided additional support.

    Disponible en français




    The Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) Prevention Toolbox was developed by
the Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario. The council is composed
of the Ontario Ministry of Labour, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board,
and 12 industry-based Safe Workplace Associations, the Workers Health and
Safety Centre, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers and Institute
for Work and Health.
    The toolbox is the third and final component in the MSD Prevention
Series. The first two are the:

    -   MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario, which describes a recommended
        framework for MSD prevention and
    -   Resource Manual for the MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario, which
        contains information on implementing the process described in the
        guideline and understanding and recognizing MSD hazards, risk
        assessment and hazard controls.

    The toolbox outlines workplace MSD hazards and has three sections:

    -   Getting Started provides easy-to-use tools that include information
        -  An MSD prevention framework
        -  How to recognize jobs with MSD hazards
        -  How to conduct a simple MSD risk assessment and
        -  How to identify and select MSD hazard controls.
    -   Beyond the Basics includes tools to enhance a workplace's current MSD
        prevention practices.
    -   More On In-Depth Risk Assessment Methods contains advanced
        information and emphasizes risk assessment methodologies.

    How to obtain copies of MSD prevention resources
    These resources are available at

    For further information:

    Media enquiries:
    Bruce Skeaff
    Ministry of Labour

    Disponible en français




    Workplace ergonomics-related injuries develop because of the cumulative
effects of repetitive, stressful or awkward movements on bones, joints,
ligaments and other soft tissues. Ergonomics (the science of fitting the work
to the worker) is considered a key to injury prevention.

    These types of injuries and disorders include:
    -   Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
    -   Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
    -   Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) and
    -   Repetitive Motion Injury (RMI).

    Key facts:
    -   Workplace ergonomics-related injuries are responsible for more than
        40 per cent of all lost-time injuries, causing serious pain and
        suffering for Ontario workers and economic loss for employers.
    -   In the last 10 years, Ontario employers paid more than $19 billion in
        direct and indirect costs related to this problem, according to the
        Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

    Pains and Strains Campaign
    In January 2006, Ontario launched the Pains and Strains Campaign to
implement six recommendations of the Minister of Labour's Ergonomics Advisory

    1.  Increase education and awareness of MSDs and their prevention

        -  The ministry created a resource sheet to help workers and
           employers identify and prevent ergonomics-related injuries in the
        -  The ministry launched the Pains and Strains website.

    2.  Focus on MSD prevention during inspections

        -  Ministry of Labour inspectors are raising awareness of
           ergonomic-related injuries and risk factors by providing
           employers and workers with information about ergonomic hazards.
        -  MSD enforcement activities are now conducted in all workplaces.

    3.  Enhanced training for inspectors on MSD prevention

        -  Ministry of Labour inspectors have received ergonomics training to
           allow them to identify ergonomics-related hazards and take
           appropriate action.

    4.  New resource materials

        -  The ministry released the MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario and
           the Resource Manual for the MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario.
        -  The MSD Prevention Toolbox that accompanies the guideline is being
           released today.
        -  MSD prevention resource material has been collected and a website
           launched to present this information.

    5.  Improved tracking of ergonomics-related inspections

        -  The ministry has implemented new mechanisms to track
           ergonomics-related inspections.

    6.  Increased ergonomic expertise

        -  The position of Provincial Ergonomist has been reinstated. The
           Provincial Ergonomist leads the Pains and Strains campaign and
           acts as the senior ministry expert on ergonomics.

    For further information:

    Media enquiries:
    Bruce Skeaff
    Ministry of Labour

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Media enquiries: Susan McConnell, Minister's
Office, (416) 326-7710, Mobile (416) 606-8303; Bruce Skeaff, Ministry of
Labour, (416) 326-7405

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