12 Months of Safety
July 2022

Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) Prevention

An MSI (Musculoskeletal Injury) is 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.

MSIs, including strains and back strains, took up around 69% of the top five injury claims in BC in 2013 (WorkSafeBC). This demonstrates the need to introduce ergonomics programs at workplaces to prevent the occurrence of MSIs. According to WorkSafeBC’s Industry Safety Information Centre, MSI injuries cost BC Employers over $1.66 Billion dollars in claims over the last 5 years. In fact, just under 40 cents of every dollar spent on claims in British Columbia go to MSI-related injuries.

Many hazards present in the workplace can contribute to MSI injuries. These hazards are are often associated with the physical demands of work including:

  • Lifting or pushing loads
  • Reaching or bending in an awkward position
  • Maintaining a position for a extensive length of time
  • Repeating the same movements over and over
  • Insufficient breaks (either amount of breaks, length of breaks, or both)

Learn more about the prevention of MSIs in the workplace with our resources, articles, courses, and tools.


Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) Prevention Resources and Tools

Manual Material Handling

Toolbox Talk

Manual materials handling is handling items by lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying, holding, or restraining. It is the most common cause of occupational fatigue and lower back injuries. Three quarters of Canadians whose job includes manual handling suffer from back injury at some point. Many are unable to return to their jobs and some are […]

Fatigue in the Workplace

Toolbox Talk

Fatigue is feeling tired weary from sleep, mental or physical work, or stress. Boring repetitive tasks can increase feelings of fatigue. Fatigue is either acute or chronic.

MSI Prevention


The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC is proud to introduce the MSI Prevention Guide, a source of guidance to an organization in implementing an ergonomics program at their workplace.

Ergonomics 101


Ergonomics is concerned with the “fit” between the user, equipment and environment. Ergonomics takes into account users’ capabilities and limitations to ensure tasks, functions, information and the environment suit each user. This course provides information to managers, supervisors and employees on proper ergonomic design to prevent repetitive strain injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders.

Ergonomics 102


Ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability. This course builds on the fundamentals of Ergonomics and assists managers, supervisors, and employees in implementing a musculoskeletal injuries/disorder reduction program.

Ergonomics Wellness Breaks


Work Station Ergonomics


Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) Prevention

Toolbox Talk

A musculoskeletal injury (MSI) is an injury or disorder of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels or related soft tissue, including a sprain, strain, and inflammation, which may be caused or aggravated by work. Well-known MSIs include sprains and strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, trigger finger, white finger diseases, and epicondylitis (tennis elbow).


Toolbox Talk

Ergonomics works to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries (MSI), including damage to muscles, bones or joints through designed workplaces, equipment, systems, and work. On average, MSI claims are 34% of all WorkSafeBC claims. From 2011 to 2020, that was an average of 17,891 claims per year.

Office ergonomics Self-assessment checklist


The goal of this self-assessment checklist is to help you to set up your office optimally for your self-productivity. This checklist is for reference only and does not replace an ergonomics workstation assessment carried out by a professional ergonomist.

Home Office Ergonomics


A guide to setting up your home office ergonomically.
Ergonomics 101

Quick Reference Card

Has been present ever since human beings began interacting with the environment. Ergonomics actually emerged as a scientific discipline in the 1940s due to the technological advances of World War II

Fatigue Management | Introduction


This online course introduces the concepts of radiation and radiation safety to people who work in environments where radiation is used and for anyone wanting basic knowledge on the subject. It defines radiation and creates a better understanding of its impacts within the manufacturing and food processing sectors, and to recognize radiation regulatory bodies.

Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) Prevention News

3 safety tips: Ergonomics best practices for manufacturing

Ergonomics goes beyond stretching programs or choosing the right chair.  It is an important strategic consideration. In the manufacturing sector, employees are especially vulnerable to developing musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) due to several factors specific to their occupations. Risk factors such as heavy lifting, bending, awkward postures, reaching overhead, pushing or pulling heavy loads, and repetitive […]

The dangers of fatigue in the workplace | Understanding the risk and impact

A contributing factor in 13 percent of workplace injuries, workplace fatigue also has a costly financial impact on businesses. A study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that US businesses lose more than $100 billion per year to fatigue-related absenteeism and reduced productivity. Causes of workplace fatigue Workplace factors Many environmental and […]

Interested in a Ergonomics?

Ergonomic and Human Factors Assessments Industrial (Plant) and Office Ergonomics Choose from a range of office and industrial ergonomics assessments and services. Pain and discomfort are clear signals when a worker has stayed in an uncomfortable or awkward position too long. If an uncomfortable or awkward position is required to do the job, workers are […]

Dr. Era Poddar

MSC, PhD - Specialist Safety Advisor - Ergonomics