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Ergonomists & MSD Prevention

A large part of the practice of Professional Ergonomists in Ontario and Canada is MSD prevention. Ergonomists can provide training and also participate in work assessment, control development, the Return to Work process and perhaps most importantly, in the design process. It has been argued that for maximum effectiveness and sustainability, MSD prevention should be integrated into an organization’s management system. The Guideline is written using the structure and language of management systems, and resources to prevent MSD within the management system are identified.

Learn more about how to integrate the Guideline into health and safety programs
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Find all the available resources on the MSD prevention website, including posters, videos, and links to relevant websites.

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Don't know how to get started?

Our guideline selector will ask you a few questions to help determine which guideline will be the best fit for your organization. Each guideline follows the same structure, making it easy to switch between them as needed.

MSD Guidelines


Preliminary Assessments

These tools typically contain a list of questions with either yes/no or multiple-choice style responses to note the presence or absence of an MSD hazard and some of its characteristics.

Detailed Assessments

Detailed assessments include observational evaluations and comprehensive analyses.

Hazard Controls

The hierarchy of controls is a system developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that ranks hazard controls from most effective (elimination) to least effective (personal protective equipment). Learn more about the Hierarchy of Controls.


Removes the source of the MSD hazard to eliminate exposure.


Replaces with another approach that reduces the risk of MSD.


Modifies the design of the physical workplace to remove or block the MSD hazard from the worker by machinery, tools or equipment.


Changes to the work organization and work practices to reduce exposure to MSD hazards, such as job rotation, pace of work, training, breaks, etc.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Barriers between the worker and the hazard that are worn by the worker.

Supplementary Guideline Resources


Step 2

Facilitate and Encourage Workers’ Participation

Step 3

Plan Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

Step 4

Conduct Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments

Step 9

Document Lessons Learned and Stakeholders’ Feedback

Step 10

Review Processes, Achievements, and Identify Areas for Improvement

Additional Resources

See All Resources for Ergonomists

View a curated collection of resources in the resource library.