From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Canadian Minister Announces New Ergonomics Provisions

Workers in federally-regulated workplaces in Canada could soon have better protection from occupational injury. A proposal to amend regulations in the Canada Labour Code addresses hazards that arise from poor workplace ergonomics.

Announcing the proposal at the 38th Annual Conference of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists in Toronto on October 16, Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, explained that technological changes in the workplace have created new hazards for workers. These have meant “an increased incidence of musculoskeletal injuries such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and back injuries,” he added. “The proposed amendments will help to prevent and reduce these types of injuries." 

The government news release about the announcement pointed out that musculoskeletal injuries constitute approximately one third of all work-related injuries, and that figures from federally regulated workplaces are included in that number.

The proposal alters the requirement for hazard identification and management in the Hazard Prevention Program Regulations so that risks related to poor workplace ergonomics are included. Employers, in consultation with workplace committees, would be obliged to identify and assess the hazards, implement preventive measures, and train employees in safe working practices, according to the news release.

The Minister said that the benefit of the change will be greater economic productivity.

Federally regulated employees covered under Part II of the Labour Code include the public service, Crown corporations and international and inter-provincial transportation industries, banking, broadcasting, uranium mining, ports and shipping, and telecommunications.

The news release said it is anticipated that the amendments will go into effect in the fall.

Source: Government of Canada