Inside Logistics

New resources for MSD prevention

Conference Report: 2019 Partners in Prevention

June 14, 2019
by Stephanie Wallcraft

Don Patten, ergonomics specialist at WSPS, and Lisa Beech-Hawley, manager for the health and safety program at Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Beech-Hawley presented a case study demonstrating that implementing an MSD prevention program reduced OPG’s MSD injury rates from as high as 50 percent down to 23 percent. (Stephanie Wallcraft photo)

Workplace Safety and Prevention Services has launched a new website ( designed to assist stakeholders with implementing the recently updated MSD Prevention Guidelines.

The site lays out three tiers of resources related to the 2018 version of the Guidelines, which are designed to help employers identify and reduce workplace risks that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders. MSDs are categorized as injuries or disorders that affect movement in the human body such as, for example, chronic back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendinitis.

The Quick Start level, intended for use by small and very small businesses, gives easy access to resources such as posters that share safety advice such as storing objects off the floor, using appropriately sized tools and gloves, and taking breaks for recovery.

For medium and large companies that already have a health and safety program in place, the basic guideline provides clickable dropdowns that flow through 10 steps that can be followed by those seeking to improve their problem-solving approach to prevent MSDs.

The comprehensive program is laid out similarly and integrates additional resources for companies that wish to integrate MSD prevention at an organizational level.

Within the Stakeholders tab, information is separated to highlight the pieces that are most relevant to people in various roles such as managers, workers, Joint Health and Safety Committee members, small businesses, healthcare professionals, engineering professionals, and more.

The MSD Risk Assessment section houses graphics and tools to assist with prioritizing risk resolution and selecting the best tools from the Guidelines for certain tasks with the Tool Picker.

The website will be updated on an ongoing basis as new tools and resources become available, said Don Patten, Ergonomics Specialist for WSPS, who presented it at this year’s Partners in Prevention Conference.