A Day to Raise Awareness of, and Prevent the Pain from Repetitive Strain Injury

February 28, 2019 – Hamilton, ON – Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

Today, on International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) calls on all workplaces to raise awareness of, and commit to preventing these injuries.

Repetitive strain injuries (also known as musculoskeletal disorders) are an umbrella term used to describe a family of painful disorders affecting tendons, muscles, nerves and joints in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands. These types of injuries cause discomfort, fatigue, pain, injury, and illness to workers and are a result of repetitive movements, awkward postures and fixed body positions, excessive force concentrated on small parts of the body (hands and wrists), a fast pace of work with insufficient breaks or recovery time, and psychosocial factors such as stress.

To help workplaces promote the importance of International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day in their workplace, CCOHS has created free infographics, shareable social media images and messaging and informative fact sheets, posters, and podcasts. These resources can be accessed on the CCOHS website: www.ccohs.ca/events/rsi.

Quick Facts

  • International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day falls on the last day of February, the only non-repetitive day of the year and is a day dedicated to education about, and prevention of repetitive strain injuries.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders/repetitive strain injuries are the most frequent type of lost-time injury and the single largest source of lost-time costs in Canada.
  • Prevention of these injuries should focus on eliminating repetitive work through job design which may involve mechanizing certain tasks. In addition, jobs should be structured so that workers can rotate between different tasks, using different muscles groups.
  • Because repetitive strain injuries develop slowly, workers should be trained to understand what causes these injuries, how best to prevent them, and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms. In addition, employers should encourage workers to take short, frequent rest breaks.
  • Increased communication and support together with an increased ability of the worker to control their job (where possible) are work practices that improve workers’ satisfaction and help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

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