Address Ergonomics this International RSI Awareness Day

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February 28th is the 14th International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day. So it’s the perfect time to take a look at any ergonomics related hazards in your workplace and what you can do to fix them.

RSIs—also known as musculoskeletal disorders or injuries (MSDs and MSIs)—affect tendons, muscles, nerves and joints in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands. They’re often characterized by aches, pains, tingling, swelling and weakness in the affected area. Examples: carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow.

Some of the factors that can lead to the development of RSIs include:

  • Repetition
  • Insufficient recovery time
  • Forceful movements
  • Vibration
  • Awkward or fixed postures
  • Cold temperatures
  • Contact stress
  • Pace of work
  • Stress.

RSIs are one of the most common worker injuries. For example, a Statistics Canada study revealed that more than two million Canadians—or nearly one person in 15 or one in every 10 adults—suffer from RSIs severe enough to limit their usual activities.

And don’t underestimate the costs of these seemingly minor injuries. The estimated overall economic costs of RSIs is up to $26 billion a year.

To keep your workers from developing RSIs, you should:

And here are some tools to help you to protect workers from RSIs:

At SafetySmart you’ll find:

Not a Safety Smart member? Sign up for a free 14-day trial.

And go to Safety Smart S.A.F.E. System to buy a system on Lifting Safety and Back Injuries, which includes safety posters, a safety meeting outline, table tents, safety cards for workers and quizzes.