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CCOHS launches new manual on MSD prevention

By COS staff

Workers, employers and health and safety committees have a new information resource for preventing musculoskeletal disorders with the announcement from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety about a new manual designed to help workplaces identify, control and eliminate MSD hazards.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has developed a new manual to assist workers, committees and employers in identifying, eliminating and controlling the sources of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in their workplaces.

In Canada, musculoskeletal disorders account for the most lost-time injuries, the highest lost-time claim costs, and the most lost-time workdays of any type of injury. Workers’ compensation board figures from various jurisdictions indicate that MSDs account for 25 per cent to 60 per cent of total annual compensation claims.

“The Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) Prevention Manual focuses on how manual material handling tasks can contribute to MSDs,” says Jan Chappel, technical specialist at CCOHS. “We wanted to provide workers and employers with the tools they can use to help reduce injuries, as well as provide a step-by-step approach for the development of a MSD program for the workplace.”

The manual explains what musculoskeletal disorders are, how and why they occur, and how to identify the risk factors that cause them. The manual also outlines how to develop a program that is focused on the elimination of MSD risk factors from workplaces, with emphasis on manual materials handling which includes lifting, pushing and pulling tasks.

CCOHS publications are unique in that they are developed by experts in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure that the content and approach are unbiased and credible.

More information about the Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) Prevention Manual is available on the CCOHS website.

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