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Ergonomics matches workplace conditions and job demands to a person’s capabilities, to improve worker safety and productivity.  Applying the science of ergonomics can be especially helpful in reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injury (MSI), which is the most common work-related injury in BC.

The BCIT Ergonomics Program consists of a Written Ergonomic Program [PDF], online Ergonomic Self-Assessment tool, workstation assessments conducted by HSE, and consultation on purchasing furniture and equipment. A BCIT Preferred Equipment guide has been developed to assist with selecting equipment and office supplies.

Employees, who experience signs or symptoms of MSI, must report this to their supervisor immediately, and can request a workstation assessment by following these steps:

Step 1: Complete the online Ergonomic Self-Assessment and the Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSI) Prevention course (if you were hired before Oct 27, 2021)* and make adjustments accordingly, and submit form.

*Note: before October 27, 2021, MSI Prevention was not incorporated into the Employee OHS Orientation, which all employees are required to take.

Step 2: Upon submission of the Ergonomic Self-Assessment form, you and your supervisor will both received a copy of the response of the assessment, including the recommendations.

Step 3: You will receive a follow up survey email two weeks after the Self-Assessment. You will be asked if still experiencing any symptoms or discomforts. Answer “No” if your ergonomic concerns have been resolved and process will be closed.

Step 4: If symptoms persist:

Step 5: Upon receiving the ergonomic assessment request, HSE will arrange an appointment with you directly.

A Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSI) Prevention course is available to all workers on the Employee Learning Hub. Workers requesting an ergonomic assessment must complete this course prior to the assessment.

The BCIT HSE Division has a quick guide to Check Your Posture [PDF].

It is also important that both staff and supervisor recognize Manual Materials Handling (MMH) hazards, follow safe working procedures and implement effective ergonomic interventions that eliminate or minimize the risk and impact of MMH injuries.

BCIT’s Ergonomic Program offers two following quick guides for MMH tasks:

Sit/stand workstations (medical accommodations)

All requests for sit/stand workstations are medical accommodations and must be requested through Disability Management (DM). DM will provide employees with the required documentation for their physician to fill out. Once medical accommodation is approved, DM will contact the HSE Division to schedule a sit/stand and ergonomic assessment.

Broken office furniture

If your office furniture is in need of repair, such as a broken chair or sit/stand workstation:

  1. Notify your supervisor/manager and have them submit an Archibus Work Request on your behalf.
    A departmental budget account is required for Campus Planning to bill the repair.
  2. Here is a link to submit an Archibus Facilities Work Request, and select the Type of Problem. “Furniture for Office Spaces”
  3. Fill in the description on the Work Request form.
  4. Place a notice sign on the damaged furniture such as “Broken, do not use. Work Request #____ submitted on____”
  5. Once the Work Request is received, Campus Planning will assess and coordinate the repair/replacement, as needed.

Musculoskeletal injuries

Musculoskeletal injuries (MSI) are an injury or disorder of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels or related soft tissue including a sprain, strain and inflammation, that may be caused or aggravated by work (OHS Regulation section 4.46). These injuries are also known as repetitive motion or repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).

If you experience any MSI signs:

  • swelling
  • redness
  • difficulty moving a particular body part

Or any MSI symptoms:

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • pain

Report them to your supervisor and first aid by using the staff/student injury report form.

For more information, contact BCIT HSE or BCIT Disability Management.

Additional resources