Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD)

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) are injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal (MS) system. These injuries may be caused or aggravated by various hazards or risk factors in the workplace. Injuries may involve muscles, tendons, tendon sheaths, nerves, bursa, blood vessels, joints, spinal discs, and ligaments. Musculoskeletal Disorders are common in the workplace and account for 40% of lost time injuries. (WSIB)

Are you moving enough at work? Create a Walking Group!

To lead a healthy lifestyle, it is recommended that adults get 150 minutes of heart-pumping action each week. Learn how to take physical activity into your workplace by starting a walking group and adding movement into your workday with these healthy tips.

Build movement into your workday by:

  • Starting a walking group at work
  • Taking stretch breaks throughout the day
  • Have standing, or walking, meetings
  • Take the stairs
  • Build more walking and exercise into your commute
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Benefits of Practicing Yoga

Stress is a killer. It can cause a variety of musculo-skeletal disorders, from back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome to shoulder and neck tension. It can cause eye strain, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbances and headaches, and chronic stress is the leading cause of anxiety and depression.

Increasingly, medical researchers are studying ways to cope with stress that do not involve medical or pharmacological intervention, and one of these remedies is yoga. Research shows that practicing yoga has the power to beat stress, along with a myriad of health concerns that are caused by stress.

Yoga can:

  • Relieve stress
  • Treat musculo-skeletal disorders, from back pain to neck tension
  • Relax the body and mind
  • Fight pain
  • Relieve tension and reduce the risk of injury
  • Make you a better communicator
  • Promote the act of self-compassion
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Simple Safety for a New Worker

When you start a new job there is usually a lot of excitement and a lot to learn. Health and safety might not be top of mind for you, but it is important.

So, here 4 simple steps to take

1. Get on Board – understand your role
2. Get in the Know – understand common workplace hazards and how to find safety information
3. Get involved – learn how to participate in workplace safety
4. Get more help – understand who you can go to for help, and how to refuse unsafe work

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How does my back work?

Learn about how your back works and basic body mechanics and safe lifting procedures.

Rules for Safe Lifting

  • Be sure to use your powerful leg muscles and large hip and knee joints while lifting.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles (to stabilize your spine and pelvis) and tuck your buttocks under; then bend your knees and lift
  • Keep the person or object you are lifting close to your body when lifting.
  • Avoid reaching over your head to lift. Lift only to shoulder level.
  • Place your feet firmly on the floor shoulder width apart (about 30 cm), creating a strong, wide base.
    Place one foot in the direction of the lift and then pivot both feet in this direction while moving.
  • Avoid twisting your back.
  • Grasp the person or object firmly using your full hand.
  • Lift in stages if necessary.
  • If the person or object slips, lower her/him/it gently to the floor while tightening your abdominal muscles and avoiding rotation.
  • Remember that planning, rhythm and timing are important in making a safe lift.
  • Stand upright and bend backwards gently five or six times after lifting.
  • Use mechanical lifting devices whenever possible.
  • Special considerations for when pregnant
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Beyond the Wrist Pads: Ergonomics is Everyone’s Concern

When most people hear the word ergonomics, they often think of office environment and equipment, but ergonomics is much more than chairs, computers and keyboards with wrist pads. Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the worker, and carries an important role in worker safety and musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) prevention.

Eight MSD Prevention Tips

  • If possible, lower rather than lift
  • Always use the proper lifting technique
  • Push rather than pull
  • Push or pull rather than carry
  • Work within the ‘power zone’
  • Avoid awkward postures
  • Build adjustability in the job
  • Consult with supervision when in doubt
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External Links

eOfficeErgo: Ergonomics e-Learning for Office Workers

The free 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.

This 90 minute eLearning course is designed so that you can learn at their own pace in your own environment.

It is broken up into 9 10 modules and by the end of this eLearning module, you will be able to:


  • Discuss the risks associated with computer work
  • Explain the importance of varying your work posture
  • Determine the key factors in maximizing your “comfort zone”
  • Evaluate your office work environment
  • Apply ergonomics strategies to the arrangement of your work environment
  • Explain the importance of healthy computing habits, including rest breaks
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Australian Government Healthy Workers Initiative

This web site is designed for employers and includes a range of information and resources to assist with making workplaces healthier. Have information for both employers and employees

You may find this site useful if you want to learn more about

  • Moving more
  • Eating well
  • Maintaining healthy weight
  • Alcohol use
  • Being smoke free
  • How to create a healthy workplace
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