A Message Worth Repeating: Take Action to Prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries

February 21, 2024 – Hamilton, ON – Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

On International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness (RSI) Day, February 29, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is reminding workplaces to take action to prevent one of the leading causes of workplace injuries in Canada.

Work that requires the continual repetition of movements, such as lifting, typing, or twisting, can potentially lead to an RSI. These injuries develop slowly over time and can be painful and debilitating, affecting the tendons, muscles, nerves, and joints in the back, shoulder, neck, hands, arms, and other parts of the body. As well as a worker’s ability to perform duties, they can impact mental wellness and quality of life.

According to the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) National Work Injury, Disease and Fatality Statistics report, there were 10,211 accepted lost-time injuries due to musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases and disorders in Canada in 2022 (up 2.5% from 2021).

Many repetitive strain injuries, however, can be prevented by implementing the following measures:

  • Eliminating repetitive work: structure jobs so workers can rotate through different tasks using different muscle groups. Mechanize certain tasks, where possible. Encourage workers to take short, frequent rest breaks.
  • Improving workstation design: create workstations that fit the worker, and allow for standing, sitting, or sitting-standing positions. Provide appropriate tools and equipment to reduce the force needed to complete tasks and to avoid muscle strain or awkward postures or positions.
  • Providing education and training: train workers on the causes, how to best prevent these injuries, and how to recognize early signs and symptoms.

To help workplaces create awareness about RSIs and prevent injuries, CCOHS has free resources available on the Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day website.


“Taking a preventative approach to repetitive strain injuries is a message worth repeating on RSI Day, and every day.”

- Anne Tennier, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

“Actively taking steps to reduce the risk of repetitive stain injuries promotes a healthier work environment where everyone can thrive.”

- Anne Tennier, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

Quick Facts

  • RSI is an umbrella term for a range of injuries to the musculoskeletal or nervous systems. RSIs are sustained through repetitive movements, and can include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, and other disorders.
  • International RSI Awareness Day was established to raise awareness and educate people about RSI prevention. The date of February 29 (February 28 in non-leap years) was chosen as it is the only "non-repetitive" day of the year.

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