MSD Prevention Series

Published: January 2007

The MSD Prevention Series is a three-part kit developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario (of which the Institute for Work & Health was a member) to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace. MSDs refer to injuries or pain in the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons and structures that support limbs, the neck and the back. MSDs are typically the leading type of work-related injury reported to workers’ compensation boards.

  • Part 1, the MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario, provides information and advice on a recommended generic framework for preventing musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace.
  • Part 2, the Resource Manual for the MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario, provides more detailed information and advice on how to implement the generic framework for preventing MSDs described in the guideline. 
  • Part 3, the MSD Prevention Toolbox, contains examples of worksheets, surveys and hazard identification tools that the workplace parties can use to help them in their MSD risk assessment and prevention efforts. The toolbox is available in three versions depending on the stage of the workplace in its MSD prevention efforts: Part 3A for those just getting started, Part 3B for those ready to move beyond the basics, and Part 3C for those who are looking for more in-depth risk assessment methods.

Who should use these resources

The MSD Prevention Series was developed for the workplace parties, including employers, managers, supervisors, workers, joint health and safety committee (JHSC) members, health and safety representatives (H&S reps) and workplace union representatives. Unions, employer associations, health and safety professionals, health and safety associations, ergonomists and others may also find the information useful when helping workplaces.

For workplaces that already have an MSD prevention program, the MSD Prevention Series can help detect and address program shortcomings. For workplaces that do not have an existing MSD prevention program, it provides guidance on putting a program in place or integrating one into an existing health and safety program.