Companies across Canada are concerned with the rising costs of workplace disability. Many are eager to implement policies and procedures to prevent injury in the first place, help sick and injured people return to work quickly and safely, and accommodate employees with disabilities. The problem? A lack of appropriate guidelines or standards for doing so.
Enter Kinesiology researcher Amin Yazdani, who came up with the idea of developing a set of national standards to manage these issues while completing his PhD work.
He is now spearheading the Work Disability Prevention Management System Standard, a joint project between University of Waterloo’s Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP). Amin says the standard and related guidance on implementation should be available by December, 2018.
“Canada will be the first country in the world to develop national standards to manage workplace disability issues, and interest has been intense from every sector of the economy,” says Amin. He goes on to say one company is so interested they’ve expressed a desire to implement the framework even before the final report is available.
Amin is also developing a related project at the provincial level to develop a new musculoskeletal disorders prevention guideline for Ontario.
“There will be many benefits to having a formal process in place at both provincial and national levels,” says Amin. “Our hope is that this research will lead to better, safer and more sustainable workplaces, and result in shorter work absences, increased productivity and better morale all around.”
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