Safe lifting and ergonomics

Resources to assess and mitigate the risk of musculoskeletal disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as strains, sprains, low back pain and nerve compression syndromes, e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome, are some of the most costly workplace injuries. Assessing and mitigating the risk factors that cause MSDs, such as repetitive motion and awkward posture, are critical in reducing the risk of injury.

Use ergonomic principles and guidelines to improve workplace safety

Incorporating ergonomic design principles in your workplace will not only reduce the risk of MSDs, but it will also increase job satisfaction, reduce fatigue, and can increase efficiency and productivity. By reducing exposure to awkward heavy lifting, repetitive motion, overuse of hand tools and static monotonous tasks, you can benefit from lower workers' compensation costs, reduced employee turnover and higher product quality.

Ergonomic best practice guidelines have been developed for a variety of industries including office, construction, manufacturing and healthcare.


Your Pinnacol safety consultant can answer questions regarding MSD prevention and provide ergonomic resources. Our certified ergonomist can perform on-site evaluations to assess risk and provide solutions for ergonomic hazards.

How safe lifting savvy are you?

How to have strong posture, poster and toolbox talk

Order or download our latest poster and toolbox talk on How to have strong posture
Encargue o descargue nuestro último póster y la charla de herramientas en Cómo tener una postura fuerte

Additional Toolbox Talks:

Safety talk — Back Safety
Safety talk — Industrial Back Belts and Low-Back Pain; FAQs
Safety talk — Ergonomics Tips: Pushing and Pulling Safely

Additional ergonomic resources below:

Workplace Stretching Programs: Frequently Asked Questions
NIOSH: Occupational Hazards in Home Healthcare
Sample Safety Rules: Lifting Procedures
Sit-stand workstations
Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Construction Workers
Easy Ergonomics: A Guide to Selecting Non-Powered Hand Tools
Shoulder Injury Prevention: What You Need to Know
Ergonomic Tools and Calculators

The safety resources listed below can be found on Pinnacol's Safety Education Online

To enroll in our online learning platform, click here.

Quick Check for MSD Risk Factors

This is your first step to identify risk factors in the workplace. This resource should be used by employers during a walk-through of the facility to identify tasks where one or more exposures could lead to musculoskeletal disorders or injuries. Once specific tasks have been identified, consult the inspection checklists to conduct a more thorough assessment.

Use these checklists to conduct a thorough assessment of tasks. Each question includes follow-up questions that offer solutions to mitigate the risk so that employers can take the first step to improve the work for an employee.
Manual Material Handling Inspection Checklist
Pushing Pulling Inspection Checklist