Feds add ergonomic hazards to Canada Labour Code

Federally regulated employers will have to assess and manage these risks

New amendments to the Canada Labour Code will help prevent occupational injuries due to ergonomic hazards in federally regulated workplaces, according to the federal labour minister.

"Our workplaces are evolving and so are the health and safety challenges that workers are facing today," said Minister of Labour Jean-Pierre Blackburn.

"Technological changes in the workplace have created new hazards for workers, including an increased incidence of musculoskeletal injuries such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and back injuries. The proposed amendments will help to prevent and reduce these types of injuries."

It is estimated that musculoskeletal injuries constitute about one-third of all work-related injuries.

The proposed changes would amend the hazard prevention program regulations of the code to include the identification and management of hazards related to poor workplace ergonomics.

As a result, employers will be obliged to identify and assess these particular workplace hazards, implement preventive measures to protect employees and educate and train employees in the safe performance of their work.

The proposed amendments were first announced on June 23 and are expected to come into effect this fall.

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