|Employer/Manager Workers Small Business Supervisor JHSC Member Health and Safety Ergonomist Healthcare Professional Engineering Professional|
Engineers are heavily involved in creating our built environment, including workplaces. Most design decisions impact the human operators in the work system: i.e., workers. Recognizing key risk factors for MSD permits the creation of safer, more productive operations producing higher quality products and services. For more information, please refer to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Internal Responsibility System (IRS).
This summary is written in non-technical language and may be useful in understanding some key aspects of workplaces that are important for the development of MSD and for training purposes.
Engineers play a major role in the design of the built environment, especially workplaces. They have knowledge, experience and information to design and modify workplaces. They use specific tools, but they often use tools common to multiple groups in a workplace. One such method is a general improvement and problem-solving technique called Six Sigma. Companies that use Six Sigma to improve quality, safety and productivity, can also use Six Sigma tools for MSD hazard identification, problem solving, and reduction. Engineers and managers are familiar with using the Six Sigma approach and tools. Adopting these processes and tools for MSD hazards will offer a common language and strategy. This will encourage managers and engineers to relate to MSD and will raise their awareness of MSD hazards.
Management processes such as Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA), Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) such as CSA Z1000, CSA Z1004, ISO 45001, are receiving more interest in Ontario Health and Safety System. It has recently been argued that for maximum effectiveness and sustainability, MSD prevention should be integrated into an organization’s management system. The Guideline is written using the structure and language of management systems, and the specific resources to prevent MSD within the management system are specifically identified.
Using Six Sigma for MSD Prevention: A case study