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Message from the Chair

  • Issued: September 2005
  • Content last reviewed: June 2009

In 2005 Photo of Kevin Flynn, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of LabourKevin Flynn, MPP Oakville, Chair

The Government of Ontario is acting to make Ontario workplaces among the safest in the world. As part of achieving this goal, the government plans to reduce workplace injuries by 20 per cent over four years through a comprehensive, integrated health and safety strategy using education, training, legislation, regulation and enforcement. The goal is that by 2008 there will be 60,000 fewer workplace injuries per year.

As part of developing an integrated strategy to achieve these goals, the former Minister of Labour, Christopher Bentley, created the Health and Safety Action Group, with industry panels for manufacturing, health care, and construction. Ergonomic issues were raised in the panels and the Manufacturing Panel formed a working group to study ergonomic issues and develop strategies to address them.

The Ergonomics Sub-Committee was established by Minister Bentley and given a mandate to examine strategies to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in Ontario. It continued its work under the direction of the Minister of Labour, Steve Peters. Although the Sub-Committee focused on issues in manufacturing and more broadly, the industrial sector, the recommendations of the Sub-Committee are relevant to all sectors.

The Sub-Committee examined a variety of ergonomic approaches, such as best practices, policies and enforcement as mechanisms for addressing this serious cause of injury. The Sub-Committee also benefited from the expertise of various presenters, who shared their knowledge of research, best practices, and legislation. The following report brings forth comprehensive recommendations that focus on education and outreach, research, enforcement, and motivators.

This report contains information that I hope will continue the drive to improve workplace health and safety. The Sub-Committee took a practical approach in the development of this report. While it recognizes and supports the work that is taking shape within the occupational health and safety system, it also provides recommendations for additional actions that could be taken within the system and by stakeholders.

It was a pleasure to work with the Sub-Committee and I thank the members and their organizations for the time and effort they devoted to this initiative. Their dedication in working together to improve occupational health and safety is remarkable. It is this demonstrated and shared commitment to excellence in health and safety that will lead the way to fewer workplace injuries and illnesses in Ontario.


Kevin Flynn, MPP Oakville
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour
2005 Chair, Ergonomics Sub-Committee

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