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Musculoskeletal injuries, or MSI, account for approximately 30% of all time-loss injuries to workers in British Columbia. The Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements were introduced into the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation in 1998 to minimize the risk of MSI in the workplace.
What is an MSI?
A musculoskeletal injury (MSI) is defined as an injury or disorder of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels, or related soft tissue that may be caused or aggravated by work. It includes sprains, strains, and inflammation.
What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to workers' capabilities. The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation requires employers to identify and assess certain workplace conditions and physical job demands (called risk factors) so that they can eliminate or minimize the risk of MSI to workers. Examples of risk factors include force required, repetition, working heights, and temperature. For more about risk factors, see the FAQs on Risk Identification.
Why must employers comply with the Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements?
The Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements are a part of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, a regulation made under the Workers Compensation Act. This places a legal duty on employers to identify and assess risk factors and to eliminate or minimize the risk. Employers have found that complying with the MSI requirements not only reduces work-related injuries but also offers additional benefits, such as increased morale, productivity, and quality of products and services.
What are the employer's responsibilities?
Employers are responsible for ensuring that the Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements, sections 4.46 to 4.53 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, are complied with.
Under these sections of the Regulation, the employer has the following responsibilities.
What are workers required to do?
Under the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, workers have the following responsibilities with regard to the Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements.
What is an MSI prevention policy? Do I need one?
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation does not require employers to have a written MSI prevention policy. However, some employers use written policies to:
What resources does WorkSafeBC have to help an employer with ergonomic issues?
WorkSafeBC produces written guidance for employers and joint health and safety committees. These publications can be found under the resources section of the WorkSafeBC's ergonomics homepage. In addition, employers can get assistance from the local WCB prevention officer (contact your local WCB office).