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Safety Matters


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.

October: Focus on sprains and strains

Musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs): a big term for a major type of workplace injury, often caused when the work doesn’t fit the worker. 

These sprains, strains and over-exertions are almost always preventable, yet in 2020 they accounted for 63% of all time-loss claims filed with the WCB. The good news is, small changes can make a big difference.  The vast majority of these injuries were to the back and shoulders and were the result of lifting.  

Often the risk for MSIs can be reduced or eliminated through simple changes. The best place to start looking for ideas for those changes is through conversations with your colleagues and employees.

October is Global Ergonomics Month. It is an international outreach for promoting human-centered design through the science, application and profession of Ergonomics/Human Factors. Ergonomics is ultimately good for business and good for people.

During Global Ergonomics Month, join WCB Nova Scotia’s Ergonomist Shawn Budden as he takes you through the six steps you can take to reduce MSIs in your workplace. He’ll use our MSI Prevention Guide to teach you how to:  

1. Build awareness
2. Identify hazards
3. Assess risk
4. Implement controls
5. Training
6. Assess the effectiveness of your action plan 

With these six steps, you’ll be on your way to making your workplace safer for everyone. 


For more information about the Ergonomics/Human Factors profession and to learn more about Global Ergonomics Month, visit these websites:

International Ergonomics Association 
Association of Canadian Ergonomists


Other awareness opportunities in October 

In addition to ergonomics, October is also dedicated to awareness for many other topics that are great opportunities to talk about occupational health and safety. Check out the list of some of them below, and think about how you might highlight these resources in your own workplace. 

Healthy Workplace Month
Healthy workplaces prioritize the mental and physical wellbeing of their employees above all else. Visit  CCOHS’s Healthy Workplace Month resource hub  to learn more. 
Continuing Care Month
Our Point of Care Assessment Tools are designed to help health care workers protect themselves from the diverse range of workplace safety hazards they encounter on a daily basis. 
Fire Prevention Week
October 3 – 9
Perform a fire hazard audit and update your fire protection plan using CCOHS’s fire protection resources.  
World Hand Hygiene Day
October 15 
The simple act of washing your hands can save a life. Use World Hand Hygiene Day to recommit to following this and all other COVID-19 prevention protocols in your workplace.  
World Spine Day
October 16 
Watch our Back Protection Agent video series and learn great tips on how you can protect the most commonly injured body part In Nova Scotia’s workplaces.  

Small Business Week
October 17 – 23 
Our Small Business Safety Toolkit will help you put a health and safety system in place to protect your workers and yourself from injury and illness at work.

Mi’kmaq History Month
In an effort to assist all Nova Scotians in increasing their knowledge and awareness of Mi’kmaw culture, history and heritage, a Mi’kmaq History Month Committee was established to promote and encourage educational and cultural activities during the month of October.

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