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Comprehensive Guideline

This comprehensive version of the Guideline is for medium to large companies with an existing Health and Safety Management program who want to prevent MSD at the organizational level. 

Is this the right version of the Guideline for your organization?

This comprehensive version of the Guideline is intended for medium to large companies with an existing Health and Safety Management program who wish to improve their management approach to prevent MSD at the organizational level. This comprehensive version is one part of the MSD Prevention Guideline. 

The three versions use similar structure and language, so organizations may use any of the versions without having to change their approach if they wish to use another version. 


The development of a New MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario was a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) in consultation with representatives from the Ontario Health and Safety System, Ontario’s labour organizations, employer associations, and individual employers and workers. Their important contributions are gratefully acknowledged. The first edition of the Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) Prevention Guideline for Ontario is similarly acknowledged for providing materials that have been reused and modified in this Guideline.

Step 1

Demonstrate Management Commitment and Leadership

Management provides the leadership, vision, and resources needed to implement an effective MSD prevention program within the organization’s overall occupational health and safety program.
Step 2

Facilitate and Encourage Workers' Participation

Workers should play an active role in MSD prevention by participating in training and awareness, recognizing hazards, planning, and using controls for hazards including those related to MSD.
Step 3

Plan Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

The organization should set up a process for recognizing jobs with MSD hazards, even if there is no injury or discomfort reported by workers.
Step 4

Conduct Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments

Hazards, including hazards related to MSD, need to be proactively identified and assessed through a collaborative process.
Step 5

Develop a set of Targets and Goals to Eliminate Hazards & Control Risks

The next step in implementation of a successful OHS and MSD prevention program includes the development of a set of targets and goals to eliminate MSD hazards and control exposure to hazards.
Step 6

Control Hazards & Implement Changes to Achieve Targets & Goals

Regardless of the type of control action to be taken, the organization should implement necessary changes as outlined in Step 4.5.
Step 7

Provide Education and Training

MSD related education and training should be provided to all stakeholders to ensure they have knowledge and skills necessary to work safely, and be able to identify, report, and control MSD hazards.
Step 8

Evaluate Controls, the Program and the Organization’s Performance

Similar to any other programs, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of control actions, the MSD prevention program, and the organization’s performance.
Step 9

Document Lessons Learned and Stakeholders’ Feedback

The organization should review its MSD prevention program to identify gaps and barriers and identify areas for improvement.
Step 10

Review Processes, Achievements, and Identify Areas for Improvement

The organization should review its MSD prevention program in planned intervals to identify areas for improvement. This needs to be done by senior management.
Comprehensive Guideline

Download the PDF version of the comprehensive guideline here. The PDF version contains all the same information as is presented on the website.

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