We recently came across a job posting for an ergonomist. (No, we’re not looking for a job—we just like to know what’s going on.) The job responsibilities included “evaluating…parts as well as assembly processes to ensure that they are in compliance with Ministry of Labour’s approved Ergonomic Guidelines.” We were startled! The MOL has “approved” ergo guidelines? How could we not know this?
The MOL’s main website does identify the MSD Prevention Guidelines as a resource, and it will likely also reference the CSA Ergonomics Standard (Z1004-12) soon, but neither document has been formally endorsed as an “approved guideline”. Note that the 2008 MSD PG has just started undergoing an update, although we may not see it for a couple of years.
Our experience indicates that the MOL can issue orders for assessments to be completed by “competent” individuals, and the issuing inspector or ergonomist may suggest the type of analysis to be performed (e.g. psychophysical, biomechanical, etc). The MOL ergonomists are typically available for clarification when we have questions about what approach they’d like us to take. However, they have not endorsed, or “approved” any specific guidelines.