Five Steps to Building your Client Handling Program

Client handling related injuries have been strongly associated with potential exposure to MSD risk factors such as forceful exertions including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, and awkward postures.


In 2021 MSDs accounted for 22% of all Ontario healthcare sector lost time injuries. When removing exposure data, MSD injuries accounted for 44.6%.  Of the MSD metrics,48% relate to client handling tasks with the majority impacting the back and upper extremities.


The Occupational Health and Safety Act, outlines the duties, responsibilities of employers, supervisors, and workers. Employers and supervisors are required to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstance for the protection of the worker.

5 Steps for Developing, Implementing and Enhancing a Client Handling Program

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Securing Leadership Commitment

The organization has secured the commitment of senior leadership, has appointed a client handling program leader, and established a multi-disciplinary committee. 

Senior leadership commitment and program support ensures that resources are available to develop, implement and maintain the program. They also secure other resources such as budget, human resources, materials, and equipment, and caregivers can get other required skills through further education initiatives.


Senior management commitment is reflected by the: 


  • Appointment of a client handling program leader to assume overall program responsibility 
  • Establishment of a multidisciplinary committee to facilitate and guide program implementation 
  • Allocation of human and financial resources to support program planning, development, and implementation



Connect with your PSHSA Health and Safety Consultant for support on client handling program steps, development, training, or specialized services.