Take 4 Steps to Protect Workers During Occupational Ergonomics Month

October is Occupational Ergonomics Month (or Global Ergonomics Month), an outreach campaign focused on increasing awareness and advancing the science and application of ergonomics and human factors in the workplace.

And because ergonomics-related hazards are some of the main sources of workplace injuries, especially musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs). So October is the perfect time to identify and address any such hazards in your workplace, such as:

Employers have a duty under the OHS laws to protect workers from ergonomics-related hazards. To fulfill that duty, you should take these four steps:

  1. Identify and assess such hazards, such as those posed by pushing and pulling materials or equipment
  2. Take steps to eliminate the identified hazards, such as by lowering shelves, raising seats or making other adjustments to work stations
  3. Implement safe work procedures for activities likely to cause MSIs, such as manual materials handling
  4. Train workers on how to protect themselves from MSI, such as by using safe lifting techniques.

If senior management balks at taking these steps, tell them about a textile plant in Ontario that saved almost $300,000 from its ergonomics program. And here are seven strategies for making your ergonomics program a success.

For more articles, case studies, tools and other resources, go to the OHS Insider’s Ergonomics Compliance Centre. Examples of some of the items you’ll find there: