Client and materials handling are two common health-care activities that can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

MSDs are injuries and disorders of the muscles, tendons, nerves and spinal discs that can happen when a worker is engaged in repetitive work, forceful exertions (such as moving patients) and awkward postures.

According to the Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA), MSDs are the leading cause of health care worker injury with health-care sector. Stats also show that slips/trips/falls are the second leading cause of injury in health-care workers.  This figure exceeds totals in construction, manufacturing, transportation, mining and most other sectors.

Your employers by law are required to take every precaution reasonable to protect you from all of these hazards, and workers are required to report any such hazards to supervisors.

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ONA Guidance and Resources

The following documents and resources will help you find out more about musculoskeletal disorders and how to prevent them.

Resources

Joint Health and Safety Committee Resources

Your safety committee/co-chair has to power to write recommendations to your employer and the employer has to respond in writing within 21 days. Tailor the template below to help you get started.

Ministry of Labour

The Ministry of Labour can inspect workplaces or investigate complaints, injuries or accidents with a view to determining compliance with health and safety law.

When inspectors find violations, they can lay charges and prosecute offenders or issue orders. Consult with your ONA bargaining unit leadership and Labour Relations Officer for help, but if danger is imminent, call your local Ministry of Labour office.

Prosecutions