Pictograms to prevent MSDs

Visual symbols known as "pictograms," along with training, can help communicate workplace hazards and controls to workers, especially those with low literacy skills or for whom English (or the language of the workplace) is a second language.

The Institute for Work & Health teamed up with Workplace Safety & Prevention Services—an Ontario health and safety association serving the manufacturing, services and agricultural sectors—to develop and evaluate pictograms (and their related training) as a safeguard for workers at risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Pictograms were developed for three sectors: retail, restaurant and greenhouses. For each of these sectors, you can download the hazard and control pictograms, a PowerPoint presentation for training purposes and an instruction sheet that explains how to use the materials.

The video "Pictograms: Alternative methods for reaching vulnerable workers" details the pictogram and training development process, as well as a subsequent pilot study evaluation.