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Union Representative

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Understanding MSD Hazards

Musculoskeletal Disorders (or MSD) at work is an umbrella term for a number of different kinds of injuries and disorders of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone and nerves. Many body areas can be affected. The low back is the most commonly frequently affected, followed by the shoulders, neck, elbow, hands and wrists.
Common physical hazards that can lead to MSD include:

  • High forces
  • Awkward postures
  • High repetition

These hazards can be found on their own, or in combination with each other. Other hazards that can lead to MSD include vibration, local contact stress, and temperature (cold).

Learn more about MSD hazards
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Reporting MSD Injuries

Has an injury occurred in the workplace? Employers are required to report injuries to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and/or the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development (MLITSD). Find out more about the requirements and steps to report.

Learn More
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Rights and Responsibilities

MSD hazards are still covered by the “General Duty Clause” (In Ontario, Part III of the OHS Act, 25 (2)(h)). It remains the employer’s responsibility to identify and control these hazards.
Employers must also advise workers of hazards. Workers should report all hazards/concerns. An important step for Union or Worker Representatives is to ensure all reported concerns are documented for resolution and follow up.

Learn more about the Ontario Health and Safety Act

Guideline Selector

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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.

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Want to search the resource library?

Find all the available resources on the MSD prevention website, including posters, videos, and links to relevant websites.

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