Ergonomic Guidelines

Effective Date: 27 September 2005, Revised:
Approved By: Carol Calvert, Human Resources Director

Applicable Legislation and Standards:
Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), R.S.O. 1990, Section 27(2)c

CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z412-M89, Office Ergonomics

Intent: To promote supervisor and employee awareness regarding ergonomics and prevent task-related injuries.


creation of working conditions that are well designed and adapted to human characteristics and capabilities to achieve productivity without injury

the science of matching the work to the worker; deals with the characteristics and limitations of people that must be considered for proper workplace and job design

Repetitive Strain Injury
injuries that arise when part of the body is subjected to harmful forces, awkward postures or strains from repetitive motion that occur while performing a task

Work-related repetitive strain injuries include muscle strain, tendonitis and carpel tunnel syndrome. People have differing physical capabilities and limits, in turn they will have different risk factors and predispositions for musculoskeletal disorders. The important work-related factors contributing to repetitive strain injuries are repetition of actions, force, posture, and the combination of these three factors. Poorly designed workplaces and poor ergonomics at work may result in compromised work quality, employee injury and lost productivity.

Reduction of risk factors to reduce the probability of injury as a result of ergonomic hazards involves:

  • identification of conditions and practices in need of ergonomic improvements;
  • evaluation of the work environment, the workplace design, and the organization of work;
  • designing ergonomic solutions for the particular task and for the specific employee;
  • regular, subsequent evaluations to ensure that solutions are safe, effective, productive and satisfactory to the employee.

Training in ergonomic solutions can be obtained in several manners:

  • notify Human Resources for a workplace assessment;
  • notify Human Resources to take part in training programs on an on-going basis, given by on- and off-site qualified instructors;
  • request an ergonomics information package from Human Resources;
  • visit recommended, helpful web sites that provide ergonomics and human factors information including:

Ontario Ministry of Labour: Pains and Strains Information

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Workplace evaluation and design guidelines

Examples of poor ergonomics

These guidelines will be evaluated once a year by the office of Human Resources – Health and Safety to ascertain its effectiveness to reduce incidence of repetitive strain injuries and increase awareness at Lakehead University.