May 15, 2013 – PSHSA recognizes the benefits of Participatory Ergonomics. We have improved on this familiar approach for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), and expanded its focus to include slips, trips and falls (STF) with the Employees Participating in Change (EPIC) program.

The EPIC program, formally known as the Ergonomics Program Implementation Continuum, relies on worker engagement, ensuring those directly affected by the hazards are actively involved in their identification and control. The program provides vital information and guidance to employers and employees, leading organizations through the development of a comprehensive injury prevention program for MSD or STF. Successful implementation of the program can yield considerable human and fiscal cost benefits.

PSHSA, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and Extendicare are partnering to conduct a pilot evaluation of the EPIC program. The program will be piloted in 8 sites across Ontario and evaluated over the course of 7 months.

To better understand the program’s impact on occupational health and safety, facilities participating in the EPIC program will be compared to facilities not currently receiving the program. Extendicare has recruited 4 Ontario homes to receive the EPIC program and an additional 4 that will act as the control workplaces.

Throughout the course of the project, Extendicare will study the effectiveness of the EPIC program, collecting data through observation, interviews and surveys. IWH will also be conducting evaluations, assessing the following:

  • Worker knowledge regarding STF and/or MSD
  • Worker perceptions of their work environment and health
  • Worker health symptoms
  • Self-reported lost productivity
  • Self-reported safety norms within a worker’s organization
  • Successful implementation of the EPIC program (both worker and management perceptions)
  • Quality of the training delivery
  • Organization readiness to implement EPIC
  • Occupational Hazards (STF and/or MSD)
  • Postural Risk (for MSD)

PSHSA looks forward to working with IWH and Extendicare on this exciting project. We will continue to provide updates as the project progresses.

Learn more about the EPIC program here.