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Introduction to Pains and Strains/ Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

  • Issued: December 2009
  • Content last reviewed: December 2009

Every day we use our muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints to lift, carry, sit, stand, walk, move and work in a variety of ways. However, sometimes these tasks or the way we do them can put too much demand on our bodies, causing pain and discomfort. In addition, it may lead to a more serious injury called a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD).

MSDs are the number one type of lost-time work injury reported to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in Ontario. They:

  • cause pain and suffering for thousands of workers every year, and
  • cost Ontario‚Äôs workplaces hundreds of millions of dollars due to worker absence and lost productivity.

MSDs are strongly linked to known risk factors or hazards in the workplace.

Ontario now has an MSD Prevention Guideline that provides Ontario workers and employers with a recommended framework to prevent MSDs. It also provides general information about MSDs, doing an MSD risk assessment, and selecting and implementing controls to minimize risk of MSDs.

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