The Ten Commandments Of Ergonomics

By Manu Nellutla. With the increased incidences in work-related musculoskeletal disorders across industry sectors, ergonomics has been identified as the best solution. A comprehensive ergonomics program requires participation from both the employer and the employee.

I present below a simple way of reminding employees how to reduce the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. I call it the ‘Ten Commandments of Ergonomics’. These principles can be printed and kept at the desk or work station of the employee as a reminder.

I. Thou shall take micro-breaks at work

II. Thou shall keep everything within easy reach at work

III. Thou shall move, exercise and stretch

IV. Thou shall not use excessive force

V. Thou shall avoid static postures

VI. Thou shall maintain a comfortable environment

VII. Thou shall not perform repetitive work without breaks

VIII. Thou shall minimize fatigue

IX. Thou shall maintain neutral postures

X. Thou shall not stare into the computer screen for a long time

Manu Nellutla is the Director- Research, Programs and Development at the FIOSA-MIOSA Safety Alliance of BC

To learn more about FIOSA-MIOSA’s STENA ergonmics program simply click here.

Bill 9 Infosheet: What you need to know.

The BC Government passed Bill 9, also known as the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (2015) on May 14, 2015.

What is Bill 9?

Bill 9 expands WorkSafe BC’s powers to deal with non-compliance as well as increase an employers’ obligations with respect to workplace health and safety.

Bill 9 has four specific objectives.

  1. Provide a range of new safety enforcement tools.
  2. Shorten the process for finalizing financial penalties to improve their effectiveness as an enforcement tool.
  3. Ensure timely employer investigations of workplace incidents and reports.
  4. Enhance workplace safety expertise on the WorkSafeBC Board of Directors.

When employers are non-compliant, Bill 9 expands WorkSafeBC’s ability to:

  • issue stop work orders where unsafe conditions present a risk to workers.
  • seek a court order restraining most egregious employers from operating in an industry.
  • issue fines up to $1,000 for less serious contraventions
  • enter into Compliance Agreement with the employer.

Why do we need Bill 9?

Bill 9 is needed to enable WorkSafeBC to deal with health and safety risks in the workplace earlier and more firmly.

In 2012 four workers lost their lives in sawmill explosions in Burns Lake and Prince George.

WorkSafeBC Administrator, Gord Macatee, recommended 43 amendments to the Workers Compensation Act in his 2014 WorkSafeBC Review and Action Plan.

In July 2014 Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, as well as the board of directors of WorkSafeBC accepted all 43 amendments.

12 of the amendments required consideration of legislative changes.

What are the employer implications of Bill 9?

Investigations

Employers must now complete a Preliminary Investigation within 48 hours of the safety incident.

Employers must undertake corrective action “without undue delay” to prevent a similar incident from occurring while a full investigation is being conducted.

Employers must also submit a Full Investigation report within 30 days or face financial penalties.

Compliance Agreements

WorkSafeBC is able to enter into voluntary compliance agreements with employers for non-repeat violations, setting out what employer agrees to do and by what date.

Penalties

WorkSafeBC can now impose on-the-spot financial penalties of up to $1,000 against employers for certain violations. Status quo of having no financial penalties against workers is maintained.

WorkSafeBC can issue stop work orders in workplaces where unsafe conditions present a high risk to workers.

The Court will be able to grant an injunction against employers, including directors and senior officers of a corporation, restraining them from carrying on an industry or activity if they contravene workplace safety requirements or fail to pay a penalty.