Webinar - Green Ergonomics: Understanding MSD Hazard Exposures Within the Wind Energy Sector

Thursday, May 28, 2020 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

CRE-MSD launches wind energy webinar series

This webinar is the first in a new series of wind energy webinars offered by CRE-MSD, in collaboration with Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) and the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA). Renewable energy is the fastest growing energy source around the world. Consistent with global trends, wind energy has been the largest source of new electricity generation in Canada with an average annual installed capacity growth of 16 per cent over the past ten years. This growth has created a need for “green jobs” such as wind turbine technicians who are responsible for servicing and maintaining Canada’s fleet of wind turbines. Understanding the musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) hazards that these “green workers” face will assist in the development of processes to prevent injuries protecting this workforce.

Other webinars in this series

Green Ergonomics: A Global Perspective on the Wind Energy Sector - Does Experience Matter? - July 8, 2020

Heat: Performance Impairment and Mitigation - August 19, 2020

In this webinar

This FREE webinar will share and discuss the results of an MSD hazard and self-report discomfort survey of wind turbine technicians in Canada. The survey instrument was developed using resources from the Ontario MSD Prevention Guideline, resulting in the identification of probable high-risk MSD related activities including climbing, torqueing and tensioning of bolts and manual materials handling (MMH). Presenters will discuss how the data reinforces the need to integrate ergonomic and human factors principles into wind turbine design as well as the need for re-engineering of tools to reduce exposures to MSD hazards by wind turbine technicians.

About the presenters

Steven Fischer
Dr. Steven Fischer is a leading ergonomics and workplace injury prevention researcher. As Director of the Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, Steven and his team study determinants of movement behavior in the workplace, applying this knowledge to improve: work-related functional capacity evaluation; work simulation using digital human modeling; and proactive injury prevention through the design of better, safer products.

Steven’s research has been funded by industry partners including Ford Motor Company, Stryker Corporation, CBI Workplace Solutions, Gentex Corporation, Thumbprint Solutions Inc., Defense Research Development Canada, and the Canadian Safety and Security Program. In 2014, the Canadian Armed Forces Surgeon General presented Steven with the Banting Award recognizing his leading ergonomics and workplace injury prevention research aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of our Canadian Armed Forces personnel. Steven has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, presented over 100 conference abstracts and has raised over $3.5 million in funding to support his research. 

Phil McKay
Phil McKay is the Program Director - Operations and Maintenance at the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). Over the past four years Phil has led CanWEA’s O&M Program from inception to an industry-wide network of wind energy operations professionals focused on the development of best practices, creation of industry leading reports, grid integration advocacy, and enhanced collaboration across Canada. With a background in wind farm operational research at the University of Windsor, applied engineering skills at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada and a number of years designing efficient, thermodynamic systems in the automotive sector, Phil is motivated by the intersection of renewable energy engineering and a sustainable society.

As the CanWEA O&M Program looks to expand from wind energy to include solar power and energy storage, the opportunities to further impact the renewable energy sector and its sustainable development including human factors, health and safety are a primary focus for Phil’s work.

Webinar resources

Webinar recording (WebEx)
Password: Wind2020

Slide presentation - Phil McKay (PDF)

Slide presentation - Dr. Steven Fischer (PDF)

For assistance, please contact Betina Butler at bbutler@uwaterloo.ca.

Disclaimer: The Centre receives funding through a grant provided by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. The views expressed are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre nor of the Province of Ontario.