About the Campaign

Musculoskeletal (MSI) injuries occur when the ligaments, muscles and tendons become injured. It is helpful to understand how these common injuries occur through observing the signs and symptoms.

A person who is experiencing an musculoskeletal injury may experience one, many or no symptoms at all. Each individual is unique.

MSIs are one of the most common injury types experienced by employees. Field-based employees sustain the greatest number of work-related MSIs, but an MSI can affect anyone. Regardless if you work in the field or an office environment, we are all at risk of experiencing a MSI.

Signs, Symptoms and Stages of MSI

Musculoskeletal Injuries are identified through common signs and symptoms. A person who is experiencing an MSI may experience one, many or no symptoms at all. Each individual is unique.

Signs and symptoms can appear suddenly or gradually over time. Below lists the observable signs and symptoms of MSI.

Observable Signs: Redness, Swelling, Decreased Range of Motion

Symptoms: Pain, Weakness, Tingling, Numbness, Stiffness, Tenderness to touch

Stages of Musculoskeletal Injuries

If left untreated, Musculoskeletal Injuries may progress to have a greater impact on functioning and overall well being. Below shows the progression of MSI in stages if the injury cycle is not disrupted.

Stage 1: Discomfort for weeks / months. Signs, symptoms are easily reversible with rest.

Stage 2: Discomfort lasts for months / years. Symptoms occur more quickly, last longer and work becomes difficult to perform.

Stage 3: Symptoms are usually always present. Sleep is consistently disrupted and all activities throughout the day are affected and recovery becomes more difficult.

MSI Campaign Activites

The Musculoskeletal Injury Safety Campaign has been broken down in eight separate activities:

Force, Posture, Repetition & Duration, Contact Stress, Vibration & Jarring, Cold Temperatures, Hot Temperatures and Personal Risk Factors.

Would Like Some Resources?

Check Out Our Resources Section Below for Toolbox Talks, Quick Print Posters, a Dynamic Warm-Up Guide and more!


Lifting, Carrying and Grip Force

Force as a MSI Risk Factor is defined as the amount of effort our bodies must use to lift objects, to use tools, or to move.

Poor grip, too much weight, bad posture and even temperature can have immediate damaging effects or cause difficult to detect long term problems later in someone’s life.


Reaching, Twisting, Kneeling, Squatting & Bending

Work Posture refers to positioning body parts and holding that position to complete a task.

A good or neutral posture is one where the joint is stronger and where it does function well. Conversely, awkward postures over time, can lead to fatigue and increased risk of developing MSI.

Repetition & Duration

Lack of variety for a long period of time

Repetition and duration are defined as movements performed continuously using the same motions / muscle groups without adequate recovery time.

Repetition combined with other risk factors such as duration, force or awkward postures can quickly become a MSI hazard while performing a job task.

Contact Stress

Pressing muscles and/or tendons on sharp or hard surfaces

Contact stress is concentrated pressure on a small part of the body.

This pinching or crushing of tissue causes discomfort and often pain on the localized area.

Vibration & Jarring

Work performed with vibration

Vibration is the transfer of energy to the body from an external source causing an oscillating motion.

Vibration and Jarring can occur in areas that are unexpected like getting in and out of a vehicle, using power tools and even on your work commute.

Cold Temperatures

Work performed in cold temperatures

When the body is cold, the muscles have an increased risk of tearing during work.

Proper warm up and staying warm when working outside is vital to minimizing the chance of injury.

Hot Temperatures

Work performed in hot temperatures

Exposure to high temperatures can contribute to burns, dehydration, heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Personal Risk Factors

Worker as a dynamic individual with controllable and uncontrollable risk factors

Personal Risk Factors are defined as an individual’s state of health, fitness, life style and work habits.  When assessing MSI risk factors at work it is beneficial to understand that there are controllable and uncontrollable risk factors. Controllable risk factors are those that you can control and they all impact you directly.

Take advantage of the Office Ergonomic Course and Self Adjustment Tool

Office Ergonomics Course

The office ergonomics training and the self-adjustment tool combined into one package.

Office Ergonomics Self-Adjustment Tool

An interactive step-by-step guide for employees to adjust their own workstation. This is an effective triage tool to determine prioritization of employees requiring ergonomic assessment.

Musculoskeletal Injury (MSI) Prevention Webinar Workshops

Below we are offering multiple opportunities for you to register and participate in the Ergonomic Coaching Workshop.

Pick a date that best works for your schedule!

Free Ergonomics Coaching Workshops

During our non-recorded free Ergonomics Coaching Workshops, attendees may bring their questions and challenges and have them answered live by Annie Barnwell and Donald MacDonald, of EWI Works who have spent considerable time developing programs for municipalities and others.

Download the previous Ergonomics Coaching Workshops

February 2021 Ergonomics Coaching Workshops

March 2021 Ergonomics Coaching Workshops

Ergonomic Coaching: Dynamic Warm-Up

While the dynamic warm-up is targeted to field workers, office employees would also benefit from this interactive presentation. This session begins with the importance of warming up the muscles before engaging in heavy work, along with tips on how to roll out the program, then a variety of dynamic movements are demonstrated to increase heart rate and muscle temperature to prepare the body for work. Participants are encouraged to complete the dynamic movements along with the facilitator.

MSI product packages to support your Safety Initiative. 

The MSI product packages are an easy quick way to get what you need to support and promote your safety initiative.

All packages are designed to provide the essential products needed to deliver safety messaging to your work force.

Note –  Free AMHSA course offer is limited to 1 package per municipality or Associated Member. Regular course booking guidelines apply.

Are you looking for some free resources?

Below are some Devco Quick Prints to support you on your journey to zero incidents! Check back frequently for new resources to support your safety initiative.

Resources – Toolbox Talks

Resources – Devco Quick Print 8.5″ x 11″ Posters & Dynamic Warm-Up Guide

Resources – Best Practices for Managing the MSI Campaign 

Resources – Images

Acceptable Use Policy For Images

The MSI program logos and icons below are provided for non-commercial use and are not permitted to be reproduced in any way other than what is listed.  Modifications are prohibited.  Acceptable Use:

  • Interoffice communications such as emails, presentations, and electronic message boards.
  • External electronic communications such as e-newsletters.

All other usage for these designs must be approved by the Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association and Devco Consulting Ltd.  Both organizations can be reached via our Contact Us page.  All other designs on this website are copyright Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association and Devco Consulting Ltd. and are not permissible to be used in any way.

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