Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) Program - Manual Material Handling

Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program

The University's Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program provides resources to supervisors and employees to minimize repetitive strain injuries in the workplace as required by Part 14 (210 and 211) of the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code.

Preventative measures, assessments and training for recognizing repetitive strain hazards, and reporting injuries are key elements of this program.


Manual handling or manual materials handling is the lifting and handling of loads including lowering, pushing, pulling, carrying, holding, dragging and supporting objects. The injuries caused by such work are referred to as musculoskeletal injuries, or MSIs.

AB OHS Code Part 14 Lifting and Handling Loads outlines the requirements for assessing manual handling hazards, as follows:

Before a worker manually lifts, lowers, pushes, pulls carries, handles or transports a load that could injure the worker, an employer must conduct a hazard assessment that considers

(a) the weight of the load,
(b) the size of the load,
(c) the shape of the load,
(d) the number of times the load will be moved, and
(e) the manner in which the load will be moved.

If the hazard assessment determines that there is a potential for musculoskeletal injury, the employer must ensure that all reasonably practicable measures are used to eliminate or reduce hazard by implementing appropriate controls. Workers exposed to possibility of MSI must receive training in specific measures to or reduce the possibility of injury.



AB OHS provides basic MSI and Material Handling training

Manual Material Handling Poster_CCOHS.pdf

Note - although the following resources are provided by Alberta Health Services for their employees, the content is applicable to any worker required to manually handle loads:

MSI Training

Move Safe Training