OHS Canada Magazine

WorkSafeBC, University of Waterloo appointed to NSC’s advisory council on MSDs

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September 28, 2022
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Ergonomics/Muscoloskeletal Injuries MSDs National Safety Council University of Waterloo WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC and the University of Waterloo have joined a multi-sector advisory group created by the U.S.-based National Safety Council to help prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)

MSDs are the most common workplace injury, and the aim of the initiative is to prevent them before the start.

The two Canadian organizations are among 12 new members that NSC has appointed to the MSD Solutions Lab Advisory Council.

Formed in December 2021 as part of the MSD Solutions Lab strategic initiative established in 2021 with Amazon, the advisory council includes safety leaders and experts across multiple industries and sectors, including academia, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and more.

Along with supporting the lab’s ongoing MSD research and innovation by providing expertise, guidance and resources, these volunteers play an important role in amplifying awareness of MSD risk and informing policy efforts to create safer workplaces worldwide.


“MSDs are pervasive – affecting nearly one quarter of the world’s population – and overcoming an issue on this scale requires bold new ideas and global collaboration,” said Corinne Towler, director, MSD Solutions Lab, NSC. “The expansion of the lab’s advisory council underscores both tenets of our approach to solving this critical safety challenge and together, with these new safety leaders, we look forward to continuing to move the needle on MSD prevention and creating safer outcomes for millions of workers worldwide.”

New advisory council members

The MSD Solutions Lab’s newest advisory council members include representatives from the following organizations:

  • AIHA
  • Ansell
  • Aon
  • Cargill
  • Baxter
  • LifeBooster
  • University of California – Davis
  • University of Washington
  • University of Waterloo (two members)
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • WorkSafeBC

“One of the unique challenges associated with MSDs is their complexity, and engaging with a diverse group of industry experts should be a crucial component of any successful prevention strategy,” said David Brodie, ergonomist lead, NA Health & Safety Domain, Cargill. “The National Safety Council has a proven track record of convening unparalleled networks of safety leaders to tackle the most pressing safety challenges of our time, and I am honored to be a part of this effort to advance research and solutions that enable workers to live their fullest lives.”

Formalizing an advisory council is one of several recent initiatives the MSD Solutions Lab has undertaken to further workplace MSD prevention, including:

  • MSD Pledge: Launched in June of this year, the MSD Pledge invites companies of all sizes to have a seat at the table to help tackle this global challenge. To date, more than 100 of the world’s top employers have signed the pledge, committing to collectively reduce MSD risk and subsequent injuries by 25% by 2025.
  • MSD Pioneering Research: Comprehensive research efforts to explore current and future MSD prevention-related strategies will be available to all industries to explore and glean insights, with the lab’s inaugural white paper recently being released.
  • Innovation Challenges: Organizations will have the opportunity to showcase cutting-edge technology solutions focused on risk prevention and elimination of workplace MSDs, with the first competition held at the 2022 NSC Safety Congress & Expo.
  • Small Business and University Grants: Provide grants to small businesses, universities, and students to fund research and innovation that help companies of all sizes achieve impact.

To learn more about the MSD Solutions Lab, its advisory council and the risks associated with MSDs, visit nsc.org/msd.


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