|Prevent MSD Quick Start Guideline: General Quick Start Guideline: Office Basic Guideline Comprehensive Guideline|
You may be a worker looking for information on low back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome or an organization looking to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.
We have created ways for different groups and people to get more quickly to content that is most useful to them.
Every organization is different and so the words “micro”, “small”, “medium” or “large” may not describe your organization well. To cater to the range of knowledge and resources in health and safety and ergonomics, we have created three parallel collections of resources for prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), Quick Start, Basic and Comprehensive Guidelines.
Based upon your self-assessment of your organization, you will be guided to the resources most likely to fit your size and resources. The three Guidelines share a common structure and language, so you can switch between them easily.
Are small or very small (also called “micro” businesses)
May have a Health and Safety Representative
May not have much knowledge and few resources in Health and Safety
May be unfamiliar with MSD and their prevention
You may find that some of the Basic resources are also useful
Have a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC)
Have a person or persons with knowledge, experience, and responsibility for Health and Safety
Have policies and procedures for health and safety addressing most hazards but want to improve their MSD prevention activities
You may find that the Quick Start Guide or Comprehensive resources are also useful
Have multiple persons and/or a Department with special knowledge, experience, and responsibility for Health and Safety
Have a formal management framework that is used to oversee the organization's activities
Are familiar with Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems such as ISO 45001 or CSA Z1000
Have a formal or informal management system for Health and Safety
Have comprehensive policies and procedures for health and safety that address most hazards but want to improve their MSD prevention activities.
Are you interested in learning how to conduct MSD risk assessment, including hazard identification, risk assessment, and controls? You may find the Quick Start Guideline and the MSD Risk Assessment Tool Picker useful.
The following table illustrates the underlying structure of the Quick Start, Basic and Comprehensive guidelines.
Demonstrate Management Commitment and Leadership
Senior Management provide the leadership, vision, and resources needed to implement an effective MSD prevention program within the organization’s overall Health and Safety program. Management is fully committed to continuously improving workplace health, safety and wellbeing.
Facilitate and Encourage Workers’ Participation
An effective OH&S program includes the meaningful participation of workers. Workers know their jobs and are aware of potential hazards that are not known to others in the organization. Support for open communication about health and safety hazards, including prevention of MSD, is critical.
Plan Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
A hazard identification and risk assessment process that includes hazards related to MSD is key for the prevention of injury and well-being. The management develops, implements, documents and maintains a risk assessment process that includes MSD hazards.
Conduct Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments
Perform hazard identification and risk assessment that includes hazards related to MSD, including anticipation of hazards being introduced by new equipment or processes. A process that includes the understanding of the root causes of injuries, including MSD, facilitates the selection and implementation of effective controls.
This element completes the first two parts of the Recognize, Assess, Control and Evaluate cycle.
Develop a Set of Targets and Goals to Eliminate Hazards & Control Risks
Effective controls protect workers from workplace hazards. They prevent injuries, illnesses, and incidents, minimize or eliminate OH&S risks including those related to MSD, and help employers provide workers with safe and healthy working conditions.
Control Hazards and Implement Necessary Changes to Achieve Goals and Targets
All the hazard identification, risk assessment and planning are for nothing if the necessary changes are not made including those related to MSD. This step is therefore of the utmost importance: of course, good planning is needed but the whole OH&S program must support this step for an effective program to protect workers’ health, safety and well-being and be more productive.
This element completes the third part of the Recognize, Assess, Control and Evaluate cycle.
Provide Education and Training
Legally, workers must know about workplace hazards, including those related to MSD, and measures that are in place to control them, so they can work safely.
Evaluate Controls, the Program and Organization’s Performance
Evaluate controls including those related to MSD. This should be done during implementation of the changes, shortly after their implementation and on an ongoing basis. To ensure that control measures remain effective, track progress in implementing controls, inspect controls once they are installed.
This element completes the fourth part of the Recognize, Assess, Control and Evaluate cycle for hazards, including those related to MSD.
Document Lessons Learned and Stakeholders’ Feedback
The OH&S program, including MSD prevention, is reviewed to identify gaps and barriers and areas for improvement. Report back to top management.
Review Processes, Achievements, and Identify Areas for Improvement
Management reviews the process and achievements and identifies areas for improvement. Management provides support for implementing measures to correct any deficiencies identified, including those related to MSD prevention.
We are working to continuously develop the MSD Prevention Guideline. Watch for new content, including more resources and 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.
Frequently asked questions. There are lots of myths about preventing MSD at work. With good information and actions, MSD can be prevented.
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.
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.