MSD Risk Assessment RACE MSD Hazards Tool Picker




Recognize-Assess-Control-Evaluate (RACE)


The Quick Start, Basic and Comprehensive Guidelines provide a step-by-step process to help employers prevent MSD using specific risk assessment process, methods and approaches. 


The Recognize, Assess, Control, Evaluate (RACE) process may be useful to some employers. The process is compatible with the risk assessment process in the basic and comprehensive guidelines.




Prepare for Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment 

Organizations need to set up a process for recognizing jobs with hazards, including MSD hazards even if no MSD, worker concerns, or reports of discomfort have been recorded. Workplaces need to plan to take advantage of information that they may already collect and review to help recognize jobs that expose workers to MSD hazards.


Risk Assessment is the process of identifying hazards, performing preliminary risk assessment, eliminating hazards if possible, performing further assessments as necessary, choosing and implementing controls. A goal is to decide if hazard elimination or a control is required. If an MSD hazard is not clearly identified or understood and a root cause cannot be determined, then more study is needed.


The progression from Preliminary Risk Assessment to Simple Risk Assessment to Full Risk Assessment minimizes the resources required for a decision on an MSD hazard. 


If control of MSD Hazard is later needed, then in order to control it an in-depth Root Cause Analysis will be essential in eliminating hazards and controlling risks in a sustainable way.


Establish a team

RACE is a collaborative effort in which all internal stakeholders including workers need to be involved. Therefore, it is essential to create a Risk Assessment and Inspection Team to do the job.


Choose risk assessment methods  

Risk Assessment and Inspection Team, choose the appropriate method(s) for MSD hazard identification and risk assessment. The team should:


Risk Assessment is the process of identifying hazards, performing preliminary risk assessment, eliminating hazards if possible, performing further assessments as necessary, choosing and implementing controls. 


A goal is to decide if hazard elimination or a control is required. If an MSD hazard is not clearly identified or understood and a root cause cannot be determined the more study is needed.


The progression from Preliminary Risk Assessment to Simple Risk Assessment to Full Risk Assessment minimizes the resources required for a decision on an MSD hazard. 


If control of MSD Hazard is later needed, then in order to control it an in-depth Root Cause Analysis will be essential in eliminating hazards and controlling risks in a sustainable way.


Consider collecting information to help in a later control stage during the risk assessment process.


Hazard Recognition

This refers to “Recognize” in RACE. Typically identified by basic or advanced screening tools, workers’ and other feedback and monitoring of injury and illness. Risk Assessment is the process of identifying hazards, performing preliminary risk assessment, eliminating hazards if possible, performing further assessments as necessary, choosing and implementing controls. A goal is to decide if hazard elimination or a control is required. If an MSD hazard is not clearly identified or understood and a root cause cannot be determined, then more study is needed.


The progression from Preliminary Risk Assessment to Simple Risk Assessment to Full Risk Assessment minimizes the resources required for a decision on an MSD hazard. 


If control of MSD Hazard is later needed, then in order to control it an in-depth Root Cause Analysis will be essential in eliminating hazards and controlling risks in a sustainable way.


Preliminary risk assessment 

It is important to find the root cause(s) of the identified MSD hazard. The following resources help you to better recognize MSD hazards in the workplace:


  • Use the MSD Tool Picker to pick Hazard Identification and Advanced Screening checklists. 
  • Use Root Cause Analysis to identify the root cause of the identified MSD hazard.

Decision: Can the MSD hazard be eliminated immediately?

If an MSD hazard and its root cause is well recognized and agreed by management, workers, and a practicable control for the root cause of the MSD hazard can be put in place soon is available, proceed to control and do not proceed to risk assessment yet. 


Can the MSD hazard be eliminated immediately? 

YES: Go to Follow-up Risk Assessment Step 8.0 of the basic or comprehensive guidelines.
NO: Continue with Simple Risk Assessment Process
Not Sure: Continue with Simple Risk Assessment Process


Risk Assessment

This refers to as “Assess” in RACE. If MSD hazards cannot be eliminated and if a more detailed assessment needed to be done, then simple risk assessment might help organizations to identify hazards and assess the risk.


Simple risk assessment

Typically Uses Screening or Observational tools. The following resources help you to identify MSD hazards and assess the risk:

Decision: Is control of the MSD hazard required?

If an MSD hazard cannot be eliminated, is not clearly identified or understood, or the root cause is unclear, move on to more in-depth MSD risk analysis.


Is control of hazard required?

YES: Go to Hazard elimination in Step 6.0 of the basic or comprehensive guideline.
NO: Go to monitoring Step 8.0 of the basic and comprehensive guideline.
Not Sure: Continue with Full Risk Assessment Process or ask for help.


Full risk assessment

Typically uses Observational or Comprehensive Assessment Methods. The following resources help you to identify MSD hazards and assess the risk: 

Decision: Is control of the MSD hazard required

If an MSD hazard is not clearly identified or understood and a root cause cannot be determined after performing the in-depth MSD risk analysis, consider asking for help.



Can the MSD hazard be eliminated immediately? 

YES: Go to Identification, evaluation and choice of controls in Step 5.0 of the basic or comprehensive guideline or the next step of RACE.
NO: Go to monitoring Step 8.0 of the basic or comprehensive guideline.
Not Sure: Ask for help.


Identification and Implementation of Control

This refers to as “Control” in RACE. The organization should have a process for identifying, and implementation of appropriate controls to address MSD hazards. This is the most critical step in prevention of MSD.  These control actions then need to be prioritize as a set of targets and goal. (Note: employers have the obligation to control all recognized hazards, including those related to the development of MSD). For more information refer to Step 5.0 of basic or comprehensive guideline.


Identification of controls  

Before proceeding to identification if controls, check if:


  • MSD hazards have been identified (recognized) and preliminary or further risk assessment has determined that control of the hazard is needed. 
  • An in-depth “Root Cause Analysis” has identified the underlying cause(s) of the hazard.
  • The overall work processes are well understood – not just one workstation.
  • Participation of workers and other knowledgeable persons including technical specialists or supervisors has been secured.

If not, obtain the required information and participation


Hierarchy of Controls

Although attractive to some, worker focused actions such as “lift training” have NOT been shown to be effective for prevention of MSD. An in-depth Root Cause Analysis and the guidance of the Hierarchy of Controls below is essential in eliminating hazards and controlling risks in a sustainable way.


The organization need to identify training and education needs for successful prevention of MSD. 


Level in Hierarchy

Description

Strengths

Limitations

Examples

Eliminate hazard

After MSD hazard is identified, the best solution is to eliminate it.

  • Effective and no further action is required
  • May not be possible
  • Powered roller conveyor instead of carrying boxes

Substitute hazard

The hazard can be substituted with another approach that creates smaller MSD risks

  • Can be almost as effective as elimination
  • Substitution may still have risks of MSD
  • Ceiling lift for patients in hospital instead of manual transfer BUT high loading on shoulders to push lift with the patient in it.

Engineering controls

Design of the physical workplace to reduce MSD hazards by machinery, tools or equipment

  • Effective long-term controls
  • Used by all workers
  • If installed and maintained, sustainable control of exposure to hazards
  • May appear expensive compared to administrative controls
  • Changing tools or modifying power or hand tools>
  • Removing obstructions or adding adjustability

Administrative controls

Changes to work organization such as

  • work hours
  • breaks
  • job rotation
  • A wide range of controls is available
  • May not require physical changes to the workplace
  • Resources required for adherence
  • Training and retraining
  • Break scheduling shown to be effective for MSD prevention

Training and awareness

Designed to change a workers’ knowledge or behaviour such as

  • hazard awareness training
  • training in work methods
  • Hazard awareness and knowledge are required under some legislation
  • Ongoing costs associated with training
  • Ongoing costs of providing PPE
  • Resources required for monitoring  adherence
  • "Lift Training” or “Job rotation” not shown to be effective for MSD prevention
  • Training in the USE of a specific control is critical for their effectiveness in MSD prevention (and safety)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Barriers between the individual and the hazard that are worn by a worker

  • Considered cheap
  • Requires little change to the workplace or work organization
  • Ongoing costs for new PPE
  • Resources required for adherence to wearing PPE
  • Many types of PPE not even shown to be effective for MSD even under good conditions
  • Only some anti-vibration gloves and knee pads shown to be effective
  • Back belts” not shown to be effective as a general workplace control


Activities to identify controls


  • Use tools such as 5 Why and Fishbone Diagram to help determine the root cause(s) of the MSD hazard

  • Use brainstorming sessions with workers to identify solutions that eliminate the root causes of MSD hazards or reduce their effects.

  • Use the resources provided in this website: MSD Hazard Control. [UNDER DEVELOPMENT]

  • Use other resources in the internet, trade associations and other similar workplaces to identify solutions that others have found effective in eliminating reducing or reducing MSD related hazards.

Evaluate and choose controls


  • Use the Evaluate Controls Worksheet [UNDER DEVELOPMENT] to help evaluate and choose amongst the identified controls

If you require additional support, ask for help.


Implement controls 

The organization needs to Implement control actions and necessary changes to achieve goals and targets related to MSD and monitor the progress towards implementation of control actions.


Unless controls are implemented, the previous steps will be ineffective. Regardless of the type of control action to be taken, the organization needs to implement any necessary changes as outlined in targets and goals. For more information visit basic or comprehensive guideline.


Evaluate Controls 

This refers to as “Evaluate” in RACE.  Follow-up and evaluation are essential to ensure the effectiveness of control actions taken to prevent MSD.  You should be prepared to try a few fixes to find the right one for workers, the work process and the workplace. The organization should also conduct regular follow-up evaluations to ensure that all control actions been implemented as planned and used correctly and consistently and are continuing to eliminate or mitigate any MSD hazards as planned

Follow-up Risk Assessment to Evaluate Controls

The organization should conduct a new risk assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of controls. The organization should:


  • Use checklists and multiple workers’ feedback sessions to check whether the changes have removed the original hazards and improved the work.

  • Re-evaluate the changed jobs/tasks using the same checklists and tools as previously used in the Risk Assessment steps.

  • Use the Quick Employee Feedback Survey with multiple workers to help evaluate the controls implemented

Decision: Are there new hazards?

YES: Go back to hazard recognition or Step 4.0 of the basic or comprehensive guideline.
NO: Go to monitoring in Step 8.0 of the basic or comprehensive guideline.

Decision: Is there poor control of hazards?

YES: Revisit hazards and root cause analysis in Step 4.0 and revisit Identification, evaluation, and choice of controls in Step 5.0
NO: Go to monitoring in Step 8.0 of the basic or comprehensive guideline.


MSD Risk Assessment RACE MSD Hazards Tool Picker




                    



MSD prevention site factsheet

What's New?

Welcome to the BETA site for the new MSD Prevention Guideline. We are working hard to develop it further. Look out for videos of MSD Hazards, sections on MSD Controls and for case studies.


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MSD prevention site factsheet

Introduction Factsheet

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



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Success Stories

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

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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.


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