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Take action to prevent repetitive strain injuries: CCOHS

DCN-JOC News Services
Take action to prevent repetitive strain injuries: CCOHS

HAMILTON, ONT. — Feb. 29 is International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness (RSI) Day and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) is reminding workplaces to take action to prevent repetitive strain injuries, 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, states a CCOHS release.

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.

According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada 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. That was up 2.5 per cent from 2021.

Many repetitive strain injuries 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.

Free resources are available at CCOHS: International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day.

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