The government of Ontario is targeting hazards that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in mines and mining plants throughout October and November.
Until Nov. 30, Ministry of Labour inspectors will focus on MSD hazards, slips, trips and falls during visits to mining workplaces as part of an enforcement blitz. In particular, inspectors will focus on hazards that can increase the risk of MSDs during manual material handling tasks and when using equipment that can cause hand-arm vibration.
“MSDs cause pain and suffering for thousands of workers every year and cost Ontario workplaces millions of dollars due to absenteeism and lost productivity, said Marcelle Crouse, acting chief prevention officer. “We’re working together to build awareness of MSD hazards and prevent injuries.”
MSDs are injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, including muscles, tendons, nerves and spinal discs, and can develop from ongoing exposure to awkward or sustained posture, repetitive work or forceful exertions such as lifting, pulling and pushing heavy objects or equipment. They are the most common type of injury resulting in lost time at work that is reported to Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
Workplace health and safety associations throughout Ontario will also raise awareness of MSDs and other ergonomics issues by hosting learning sessions, webinars and training events.
Ontario has about 40 underground mines and thousands of surface mines, with about 26,000 workers.
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