MOL Work shouldn't hurtErgonomics

Effective Ergonomic Tools and Resources for your Health and Safety Program

Every day we use our muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints to lift, carry, sit, stand, walk, move and work in a variety of ways. However, sometimes these tasks or the way we do them can put too much demand on our bodies, causing pain and discomfort. In addition, it may lead to a more serious injury called a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). Work shouldn’t hurt!

What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the worker and has proven important in preventing the types of musculoskeletal injuries that contribute to increasing workplace related disability claims.

Once a person is injured, all their daily activities may be disrupted. Ergonomic implementation works to prevent injuries rather than treat them. A complete ergonomics program includes education about risk factors, causes of injuries, and encourages good habits in posture, body mechanics and exercise at work, home and leisure.

Ergonomics Diagram
Ergonomics & MSD Infographics

The numerous resources below will be useful for employers, workers, and others in designing effective programs to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), one of the most prevalent and costly safety and health problems in the modern workplace.

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  • eOfficeErgo: Ergonomics e-Learning for Office Workers
    This online training program was developed by IWH in partnership with the U.S.-based Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. An international scientific panel of academic and practicing ergonomists reviewed the content to ensure it complied with current scientific findings and international standards, including the Canadian Standards Association’s CSA-Z412-00 (R2011): Guideline on Office Ergonomics.



Ergonomics Assessments

Overexertion and musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) involve strains and sprains of muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints or nerves. Sprains and strains account for 50% of all lost-time injuries in Ontario. An ergonomic approach reduces the risk of these injuries by matching the demands of the job to the abilities of the employee through proper design of workstations, tools, environment, work schedules, policies and procedures. Employers are legally required to take every possible precaution to protect workers from hazards including MSD injuries. The MSD prevention guideline, announced in February 2007 outlines employers’ obligations. As well the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations relate to MSD prevention and ergonomics.

In an effort to help you reduce MSD-type injuries, PSHSA offers a variety of ergonomic services, including:

  • Ergonomic Assessments – To identify ergonomics risk factors, determine the level of risk present in a job and provide suggestions to minimize the risk of injury
  • Physical Demands Analysis (PDA’s) – An in-depth description of the physical demands and environmental conditions associated with job performance

To request a specialized Ergonomic assessment or to ask your ergonomic questions use our live chat or contact a PSHSA consultant in your region.

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Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

Check out some tools to use in your work environment


  • A Participatory Approach to MSD Prevention
    Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) are a common cause of injuries in Ontario workplaces. With knowledge and a participatory approach, your organization can make changes to the work environment and prevent these injuries from occurring.


  • How Does My Back Work
    This Fast Fact describes how the back works, outlines rules for safe lifting and considerations for pregnant workers.
  • How Much Can You Lift?
    Describes the many factors that must be considered to avoid injuries due to lifting: worker characteristics, load characteristics, task characteristics and environmental characteristics.


  • Injury Theory and Ergonomics
    Recently at our Emergency Services Summit our guest speaker Dr. Jack P. Callaghan PhD, CCPE shared research for MSD, Injury Theory and Ergonomics. This will be of particular interest to those in the Emergency Services Sector.

See More Information from the Ontario Ministry of Labour on the prevention and handling of Musculoskeletal Disorders.

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For questions regarding training, products or specialized services, contact a PSHSA consultant near you.

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PSHSA offers more than 100 different training courses on a full range of topics, including health and safety certification, workplace violence, ergonomics and occupational disease.