WorkSafeBC defines a musculoskeletal injury (MSI) 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.’ MSI also includes diseases as well, such as tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and demands to workers.
BCCF will identify risk factors for MSI at its workplaces. Factors that will be considered when assessing MSI risk are:
- Physical demands
- Required force
- Contact stresses
- Reaches o Heights o Flooring o Seating
- Objects handled
- Shape and size
- Weight distribution and load size
- Environmental conditions
- Extreme or extended periods of hot or cold
- Organization of work o Task variability o Work rate
- Recovery cycle
As mentioned in previous sections PPE will only be used as a last resort where elimination, substitution, engineering or administrative control measures are not feasible. Employees that may be at risk of MSI will be made aware of the signs and symptoms of MSI and the control measures and work procedures to mitigate for them. BCCF will review Ergonomic Requirements and workstations annually.
Generally the signs a worker experiencing an MSI may notice are pain, swelling, redness, difficulty in moving a particular body part, numbness, tingling or weakness while on the job or completing tasks at the workplace, however it is important to note that each individual can experience different symptoms. Any employee that experiences signs or symptoms of MSI should inform their supervisor, Project Coordinator, or Safety Coordinator and fill out a First Aid Record as early as possible.
Staff which feel they are encountering symptoms associated with MSIs are encouraged to report workplace induced fatigue and MSI symptoms as early as possible to the Safety Coordinator and their immediate supervisor for review. Staff are encouraged to refer to the appropriate Part of the OHSP and SWP to review more information on MSIs and access a workstation assessment.