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Preventing Pains and Strains/ Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) – A Part of Your Health and Safety Program

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

The prevention of pains and strains/MSDs does not need to be difficult or complex. These hazards should be addressed in the same way you would any other hazard in the workplace – recognition, assessment and control.

The essential keys to prevent MSDs are:

  • Management commitment and support
  • A written MSD prevention process that is communicated to all workplace parties
  • Worker participation in the prevention process and
  • Training on MSD prevention for ALL workplace parties.

Establish A Foundation For Success

  • Managers, supervisors, and workers all know the workplace is serious about preventing MSDs
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • The workplace is ready to make changes to reduce the risk of MSDs
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Resources are available to make any necessary changes
    Yes [    ] No [    ]

Understand MSDs And MSD Hazards

  • Managers, supervisors, and workers know what MSDs are and what hazards can cause them
    Yes [    ] No [    ]

Recognize MSD Hazards And Related Concerns

  • Incident/injury records are reviewed to find jobs/tasks where MSDs have been reported
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Workers, supervisors and managers are asked about job/tasks that they believe contribute to any pain or discomfort
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Problem jobs/tasks are observed and an MSD hazard identification tool is used, with full input and participation of workers who do the jobs/tasks
    Yes [    ] No [    ]

Conduct An MSD Risk Assessment

  • Problem jobs/tasks are prioritized for a simple risk assessment
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Worker s are asked to identify key concerns
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Observations and MSD hazard identification tool results are compared to worker comments/concerns
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Effort is made to agree on what issues/hazards should be addressed to help reduce the risk of MSDs (agreement between observations, hazard identification tool(s), and worker comments)
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Effort is made to agree on why these hazards exist for this job/ task
    Yes [    ] No [    ]

Choose And Implement MSD Hazard Controls

  • When MSD hazard controls are needed, workers, supervisors, maintenance, and safety, personnel discuss/brainstorm ideas and options to control identified MSD hazard(s)
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Possible controls for MSD hazards are selected and reviewed
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Preferred control ideas are identified and action plans are developed for implementation
    Yes [    ] No [    ]

Follow Up On And Evaluate Success Of MSD Hazard Controls

  • Workers are asked for their feedback on/opinions about MSD hazard controls
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Workers receive training on how to use MSD controls and are using
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Observations and the MSD hazard identification tool results are used to help confirm that the exposure to the MSD hazard has been reduced
    Yes [    ] No [    ]
  • Reviews are done to ensure that no new hazards/concerns result from the MSD hazard control(s)
    Yes [    ] No [    ]

Communicate Results And Celebrate Success

  • Those involved in the process are acknowledged and the workplace is told about new MSD hazard control(s)
    Yes [    ] No [    ]

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