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Project Coordinator, U of Waterloo & Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees

24 month period beginning in January, 2001

Prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the Ontario clothing industry: A focus on small business


The University of Waterloo and the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE), with the financial support of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB), will be conducting a research project designed to improve our understanding of musculo-skeletal disorders (WMSD) in the Ontario clothing industry. The purpose of this project is to implement and evaluate ergonomics programs aimed at prevention of WMSD among clothing workers. The objectives are to:

1) develop successful ergonomic programs aimed primarily at small business in the clothing industry;

2) to compare the effectiveness of ergonomic programs that involve passive vs. active participation of management and workers

in the process; and

3) to increase the awareness and knowledge base surrounding WMSD throughout the industry.

Job Responsibilities

Working with a research team from UW, UNITE, the Institute for Work & Health and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, the project coordinator will oversee the successful organization, execution and completion of this project. Under the guidance of the research team, the project coordinator will be responsible for the following:

- preparing a workplace questionnaire and ergonomic audit;

- arrange site visits and collect baseline measurements at participating firms in the sector, including distribution and collection of the questionnaires and physical exposure measurements, including electromyography;

- work with the research team to develop and implement appropriate ergonomic interventions; participate in the evaluation of interventions;

- summarize and analyze all of the data collected; assist with the development of education and communication material related to the project; and

- prepare the final report in consultation with the project participants based on all of the information gathered.

Job Qualifications

The project coordinator must have related academic training (preferably at the graduate level) in the field of occupational health and safety / ergonomics and a demonstrated ability to manage a research project of this scope. The selected candidate must be able to work independently, set goals and meet deadlines. Good communication and writing skills are essential for this job. The research coordinator must be skilled in the analysis and presentation of research data.

Experience in labour-management relations, negotiations, and workplace innovation will assist the project coordinator. Research experience related to industrial relations, labour studies, epidemiology or sociology, including relevant academic qualifications, will be


Experience within the Canadian labour movement or within progressive organizations working for social change will be considered an important asset. The project coordinator must be able to work effectively in a diverse cultural environment. Knowledge of and experience in the clothing sector will also be an asset.

The position will be based in Toronto, but will include extensive travelling in southern Ontario. The project coordinator will be paid at

the rate of $51,000 per year plus benefits.

Please send a brief letter and resume by February 6, 2001 to

Jonathan Eaton

Assistant to the Canadian Director

Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, Canadian Office

15 Gervais Drive, Suite 700

Toronto, Ontario M3C 1Y8

Fax: (416) 441-9680