It’s International RSI Awareness Day Again

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Once again, it’s International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, which is celebrated this year on Feb. 28, 2017. A day was set aside across the globe to focus on RSIs because such injuries are among the most common injuries in all types of workplaces, from factories and construction sites to offices. For example, according to Statistics Canada, more than 2.3 million Canadians suffer from RSIs or musculoskeletal disorders, most of which are work-related.

RSIs, also called musculoskeletal injuries or disorders (MSIs or MSDs), usually affect tendons, muscles, nerves and joints, such as the hips, knees and feet. RSIs can be caused by:

To protect workers from developing RSIs and to comply with the requirements in the OHS laws to address ergonomics-related hazards, which are often the source of these injures, take these four steps:

Step #1: Identify and assess ergonomics-related hazards, such as those posed by pushing and pulling materials or equipment. (Read about a NIOSH study in which scientists adapted risk assessment methods typically used in chemical risk assessment to assess and identify specific factors related to low back pain among a group of manufacturing workers.)

Step #2: Take steps to eliminate the identified hazards, such as by raising seats, lowering shelves or making other adjustments to work stations.

Step #3: Implement safe work procedures for activities likely to cause RSIs, such as manual materials handling.

Step #4: Train workers on how to protect themselves from RSIs, such as by using safe lifting techniques.

The OHS Insider has many articles, tools and other resources that you can use to raise awareness of ergonomics and protect workers from developing RSIs, including:

In addition, here’s a sampling of just a few of the many RSI-related tools you can download, adapt and use in your own workplace:

Want access to all the Canadian safety compliance resources that the OHS Insider has to offer, such as the articles and tools listed above, and much more? Sign up for a free trial membership now!