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Health Care Blitz Focuses on Musculoskeletal Disorders

Ontario Government Committed to Preventing Workplace Injuries and Keeping Workers Safe

Ontario will inspect health care facilities during a province-wide blitz this fall checking for hazards that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) to help keep health care workers in our hospitals and long-term care facilities safe.

In September and October, Ministry of Labour inspectors will visit long-term care homes, health and community care services, retirement homes and other health care workplaces. They will ensure that proper procedures are in place for client handling and manual materials handling to prevent MSD injuries among staff.

MSDs are injuries and disorders of the muscles, tendons, nerves, joints and spinal discs. They can develop as a result of repetitive work, forceful exertions such as heavy lifting and awkward postures.

The blitz will focus on:

  • Client handling, including lifting, transferring and repositioning of clients
  • Manual materials handling, including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying of objects
  • Use and maintenance of carts in housekeeping and other support service areas

The blitz is part of the province's Safe At Work Ontario enforcement initiative to ensure compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.


"Health care workers take care of our loved ones and we all have a role in helping prevent MSDs at work. These blitzes are a key part of ensuring every worker in Ontario's health care sector return home each day, safe and sound."
— Yasir Naqvi, Ontario Minister of Labour

"Fostering healthy work environments and building a culture of safety is vital for our nurses and personal support workers, and helps to ensure the highest quality patient care."
— Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

"We hope to increase attention and action to prevent MSDs from occurring. We want to improve health and safety at health care workplaces across Ontario"
— George Gritziotis, Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer


  • In 2011, MSDs accounted for 41 per cent of all WSIB lost-time injuries, 34 per cent of new claim costs and 36 per cent of days lost at work in Ontario.
  • Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 345,000 field visits, and 52 inspection blitzes.
  • Inspectors have issued more than 560,000 compliance orders in Ontario workplaces.


Learn more about MSDs / ergonomics

Read more about Ontario's Safe At Work Ontario strategy to improve workplace safety.

Learn about the ministry's results of the MSDs blitz in 2012.

Learn more about other government initiatives to improve workplace safety.

Blitz Focuses on Musculoskeletal Disorders (Backgrounder)

Jonathan Rose, Minister’s Office, 416-326-7709
Matt Blajer, Communications Branch, 416-326-7405
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