A ergonomist interacting with a worker in a machine shop to highlight the role of ergonomists in MSD prevention. 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 may find the following sections of the Guideline of most interest:

  • The “tool picker” for risk analysis

    • 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.

  • Guideline Processes Based on Management System 

    • 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.

  • Ergonomists’ potential contributions to 6 Sigma teams 

    • 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.

  • The Quick Start Guide 

    • This resource is written in non-technical language. It may be useful in training or as or as a resource for safety talks. 

Ergonomists may also find the following of interest:




MSD prevention site factsheet

What's New? 


We are working to continuously develop the MSD Prevention Guideline. Watch for new content, including more resources and case studies.



MSD prevention site factsheet



Download the factsheet introducing the MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario website.


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Case Studies 


Read success stories and case studies about preventing MSD. These stories may apply to your workplace and help you make the right decision.



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Frequently asked questions. There are lots of myths about preventing MSD at work. With good information and actions, MSD can be prevented.




WSIB's Health and Safety Excellence Program


Why join?


Keeping your team safe and healthy at work is good for business. WSIB's Health and Safety Excellence program provides a clear roadmap to improve safety in your workplace, whether you're just getting started or want to improve systems and processes you already have in place.


No matter how large or small your business is, the Health and Safety Excellence program can help. Connect with a WSIB-approved provider who can help you address your business’s unique health and safety challenges – and you can earn rebates for the work you do to improve your workplace health and safety. 


Check out the Health and Safety Excellence Program website for more information on the program and the benefits.



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DISCLAIMER: CRE-MSD receives funding through a grant provided by the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.

Workplace Solutions to Back Pain, Shoulder Tendinitis, Tennis Elbow & Other Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD):
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