|Employer/Manager Workers Small Business Supervisor JHSC Member Health and Safety Ergonomist Healthcare Professional Engineering Professional|
A large part of the practice of Professional Ergonomists in Ontario and Canada is MSD prevention. Ergonomists can provide training and also participate in work assessment, control development, the Return to Work process and perhaps most importantly, in the design process. For more information, please refer to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Internal Responsibility System (IRS).
Ergonomist are familiar with multiple assessment tools for MSD hazards and have the knowledge and experience to select and use tools most appropriate for a situation. The tool picker has the value that its use across an organization helps assure that similar assessment methods are used in similar jobs permitting more consistent measures between assessors and over time.
Management processes such as Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) and Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) such as CSA Z1000, CSA Z1004, ISO 45001, are receiving more interest in Ontario (link to training standards). It has recently been argued that for maximum effectiveness and sustainability, MSD prevention should be integrated into the organization’s management system. The Guideline is written as using the structure and language of management systems, and the specific resources to prevent MSD within the management are specifically identified.
One tool common to multiple groups in a workplace is the general improvement and problem-solving technique 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 MSD reduction. The knowledge and methods used by ergonomists, can provide valuable input into the Six Sigma process where MSD are concerned. Including ergonomists in Six Sigma teams in circumstances where MSD hazards are of concern or potential concern offers multiple benefits as many of the factors leading to the development of MSD are also implicated in poorer quality of products and services.
This resource is written in non-technical language. It may be useful in training or as or as a resource for safety talks.
Using Six Sigma for MSD Prevention: A case study