Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.
Manual materials handling is a common task for workers in many workplaces. Manual handling can expose workers to hazards resulting in musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
MSDs are injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. They may be caused or aggravated by various hazards or risk factors in the workplace such as force, fixed or awkward postures, and repetition.
MSDs are the most common workplace injury resulting in over 40 percent of all Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) lost-time injuries in Ontario. Employers are required to protect workers by putting in place controls to prevent hazards.
Preventing MSDs needs to be a key part of every workplace health and safety program. In safe and healthy workplaces, employers:
Ministry of Labour inspectors take enforcement action, as appropriate, if they find violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.
Inspectors check for MSD-related hazards, including:
See the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services website for more information regarding ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders
Call 1-877-202-0008 any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals. Call 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, for general inquiries about workplace health and safety. Always call 911 in an emergency.