Reducing Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Healthcare Sector

October 26, 2015
Toronto Airport West Hotel, Mississauga


Case based presentations:

West Park Healthcare Centre (PDF)

Schlegel Villages (PDF)

Woodstock General Hospital (PDF)

CarePartners (PDF)

Sault Area Hospital (PDF)

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (PDF)

Halton Healthcare (PDF)

Request an accessible version of a presentation


Panel videos:

Setting the scene: Barriers and challenges (VIDEO)

What the research is telling us (VIDEO)

Who, what and how to take action (VIDEO) 

Case based videos:

West Park Healthcare Centre (VIDEO)

Schlegel Villages (VIDEO)

Woodstock General Hospital (VIDEO)

Sault Area Hospital (VIDEO)

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (VIDEO)

Halton Healthcare (VIDEO)


Conference Agenda

Best practices and guides for safe manual handling of patients


This conference attracted 130 participants from a diverse group of healthcare stakeholders from the hospital, long term care and community sectors as well as health and safety system partners, union representatives, students, ergonomists, educators, human resource specialists, WSIB and the Ministry of Labour.

The conference was opened by a panel of experts from healthcare including Erna Bujna (Ontario Nurses’ Association), Susan Fuciarelli (Hamilton Health Sciences), Susan VanderBent (Home Care Ontario) and Henrietta Van hulle (Public Services Health & Safety Association) representing the viewpoints of the hospital, long term care and community sectors, and laying the foundation for the conference by discussing the current barriers and challenges related to patient/client handling, transfers and repositioning. This panel was followed by presentations from visiting researchers Dr. Mike Fray (Loughborough University, United Kingdom) Dr. Barbara Silverstein (Washington Department of Labor and Industries) and Dr. Tilak Dutta (Toronto Rehabilitation Institute), regarding ‘what the research is telling us’ on preventing and reducing MSD related to patient/client handling and the advancing technologies.   

Seven case based presentations (West Park Healthcare Centre; Sault Area Hospital, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Halton Healthcare, Woodstock General Hospital, CarePartners and Schlegel Villages) profiled successful strategies employed to reduce/prevent MSD patient/client handling challenges. The implementation of a screening tool specific to body mechanics lifts and transfers, a Safe Patient Lifting & Transfer program (SPLAT), understanding the biomechanics of our backs and load limitations, a Patient Handling Program – Patient Up Lift, a successful nursing MSD reduction program, the role of kinesiologists and cross functional teams, and the role of equipment and technology in hospital re-design engaged the audience to reflect on training, equipment, policies and procedures in the successful implementation of MSD prevention and reduction.  

The conference concluded with a healthcare stakeholder panel that included early session speakers as well as Pam Mancuso from the Ontario Nurses' Association and Dr. Sandra McKay from VHA Home Healthcare which wove the threads of barriers, challenges, research and operational success stories into future actions. 

The post-conference evaluation highlighted the strong merits of the day with resounding encouragement for future healthcare related MSD conferences:  

One of the best conferences I've been to in a long time.

I gained the idea that MSD prevention is achievable if there is sufficient commitment and long-term attention to the program.