February 15, 2012
This month, the Ministry of Labour is conducting an inspection blitz on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

This blitz will concentrate on manual material handling. Inspectors will be on the lookout for MSD hazards regardless of industry sector.

The ministry says that MSDs are a primary source of injuries in every sector where manual material handling and repetitive movement occur. “By taking steps to prevent MSDs, you can better protect your workers from painful and often debilitating injuries,” says a ministry spokesperson.

In Ontario, 2009 claims statistics show that MSDs accounted for 44 per cent of all lost-time claims and 41 per cent of all lost-time claim costs. This translates into 913,000 days lost and 28,000 Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims worth $112 million.

“MOL inspectors don’t wait for excuses, or even reasons for non-compliance, before issuing a ticket or work order,” says the ministry. MOL prevention strategies include:
  • Familiarize yourself with MSD hazards in your workplace
  • Perform your own workplace audit
  • Have a well-documented MSD program visibly in place, and implement specific strategies, tools and training
  • Call Workplace Safety and Prevention Services to review your MSD program before an inspector comes knocking
The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association is hosting half-day seminars in Mississauga on Feb. 21 and London on Feb. 27 to help people reduce MSDs and prepare for the upcoming MOL blitz. To learn more about the seminars, or to register, go to http://bit.ly/ysY6gk.