British Columbia Manual Material Handling
This material has been extracted from the Acts and Regulations of the Province to help students understand the subject. It is not an official source of information and must not be used for any other purpose.
© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Copyright Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia Richmond, B.C., Canada. All rights reserved.
WORKERS COMPENSATION (OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY) AMENDMENT ACT, 1998
Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements
The purpose of sections 4.46 to 4.53 is to eliminate or, if that is not practicable, minimize the risk of musculoskeletal injury to workers.
Note: WorkSafeBC provides publications to assist with implementing the Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements. Preventing Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI): A Guide for Employers and Joint Committees provides a MSI prevention process to assist with the application of the ergonomics requirements along with procedures to investigate incidents of MSI and a table of common control measures. Understanding the Risks of Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) is intended to help employers with the requirements of section 4.51(1) to educate workers in risk identification, signs and symptoms of MSI, and their potential health effects.
[Note added September 25, 2001.]
In sections 4.47 to 4.53 (the Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements)
"musculoskeletal injury" or "MSI" means an injury or disorder of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels or related soft tissue including a sprain, strain and inflammation, that may be caused or aggravated by work.
4.47 Risk identification
The employer must identify factors in the workplace that may expose workers to a risk of musculoskeletal injury (MSI).
4.48 Risk assessment
When factors that may expose workers to a risk of MSI have been identified, the employer must ensure that the risk to workers is assessed.
4.49 Risk factors
The following factors must be considered, where applicable, in the identification and assessment of the risk of MSI:
(a) the physical demands of work activities, including
(i) force required,
(iv) work postures, and
(v) local contact stresses;
(b) aspects of the layout and condition of the workplace or workstation, including
(i) working reaches,
(ii) working heights,
(iii) seating, and
(iv) floor surfaces;
(c) the characteristics of objects handled, including
(i) size and shape,
(ii) load condition and weight distribution, and
(iii) container, tool and equipment handles;
(d) the environmental conditions, including cold temperature;
(e) the following characteristics of the organization of work:
(i) work-recovery cycles;
(ii) task variability;
(iii) work rate.
4.50 Risk control
(1) The employer must eliminate or, if that is not practicable, minimize the risk of MSI to workers.
(2) Personal protective equipment may only be used as a substitute for engineering or administrative controls if it is used in circumstances in which those controls are not practicable.
(3) The employer must, without delay, implement interim control measures when the introduction of permanent control measures will be delayed.
4.51 Education and training
(1) The employer must ensure that a worker who may be exposed to a risk of MSI is educated in risk identification related to the work, including the recognition of early signs and symptoms of MSIs and their potential health effects.
(2) The employer must ensure that a worker to be assigned to work which requires specific measures to control the risk of MSI is trained in the use of those measures, including, where applicable, work procedures, mechanical aids and personal protective equipment.
(1) The employer must monitor the effectiveness of the measures taken to comply with the Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements and ensure they are reviewed at least annually.
(2) When the monitoring required by subsection (1) identifies deficiencies, they must be corrected without undue delay.
(1) The employer must consult with the joint committee or the worker health and safety representative, as applicable, with respect to the following when they are required by the Ergonomics (MSI) Requirements:
(a) risk identification, assessment and control;
(b) the content and provision of worker education and training;
(c) the evaluation of the compliance measures taken.
(2) The employer must, when performing a risk assessment, consult with
(a) workers with signs or symptoms of MSI, and
(b) a representative sample of the workers who are required to carry out the work being assessed.
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