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Ergonomics FAQ

Some common questions about ergonomics and how to apply it in your workplace are provided below. If you have any other questions concerning ergonomics, please contact ACE.

How do I know when I need help in ergonomics?

Many sources of information can indicate that your workplace can benefit from a good ergonomics program. Some 'triggers' that suggest that your workplace would benefit from an ergonomist’s services include the following:

Aside from detecting these triggers, you should consider the benefits to be gained from applying ergonomics proactively in order to prevent problems before they occur. This is the most effective and resource-efficient way to incorporate ergonomics into your workplace!

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How do I find an ergonomics consultant (Ergonomist)?

A list of consultants can be found in ACE’s Consultant Directory. In Canada, we have Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomists (CCPE) who are certified by the Canadian College for the Certification of Professional Ergonomists (CCCPE). The CCCPE has developed a rigorous process for ensuring professional competence consistent with the International Ergonomics Association (IEA). This national certification was developed to protect the public. To successfully attain the designation of Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist (CCPE), the applicant must have successfully completed university level courses, which are specific to, and taught with examples from ergonomics, must have a minimum of 4 years of full-time practice and must demonstrate, through work products, an understanding of ergonomics in its full breadth of application including physical, cognitive and organizational (macro). Certification of Ergonomists helps users of ergonomics services to determine those who have an identified level of training and experience and improves the quality of practice among ergonomists.

 

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How much does it cost to address ergonomics in the workplace?

Poor ergonomics may be costing you or your company a lot. Addressing these concerns may have some upfront cost but in the long run should save you money through optimized work processes and improvements in the health and wellbeing of your staff.  The extent of the upfront costs will vary depending on the project and scope of changes required. Consider the following points.

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Are there laws that regulate ergonomics in the workplace?

Ergonomics, or human factors, is a broad field involving issues of safe and effective human interaction with the design and use of all aspects of a person’s environment including systems, organizations, equipment and tasks. Currently in Canadian workplaces, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Acts and Regulations are primarily concerned with regulating the prevention of Soft Tissue Injuries, most commonly referred to as Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSI) or Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD). This draws primarily on “physical” ergonomics applications by regulating how physical work, such as lifting, standing, sitting, etc., should be managed. Cognitive and organizational ergonomics applications are not prevalent in Canadian regulations at this time. These are more likely to be referenced in Standards, Guidelines and Best Practices documents within and outside of the OHS arena, depending on how ergonomics is being applied. (For more information on cognitive and organizational ergonomics, please refer to the Fact Sheets on these topics at www.ace-ergocanada.ca )

 

Federally, the Canada Labour Code II Part XIX outlines a Hazard Prevention Program under which employers are responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring a program for the prevention of hazards, including ergonomics-related hazards.

 

Please see below for links to provincial and territory ergonomics related regulations.

 

British Columbia:  WSBC Ergonomics (MSI) Regulations 4.46 to 4.53

Alberta: OHS Code, Part 14, Sec 211

Saskatchewan: Part Vi, Section 81

Manitoba: Workplace Safety & Health Regulation Part 8

Ontario: Ministry of Labour (link??)

Quebec Div. XX, Sec. 166-171

New Brunswick: Act & Regulations

Nova Scotia: Act & Regulations and  FAQs

Newfoundland & Labrador: Occupational Health & Safety Regulations Part V1, Sec. 50 to 56

PEI: OHS Act

Yukon: OHS Act

Northwest Territories & Nunavut: Mining Act

 

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