International RSI Awareness Day Is Back on Feb. 28, 2015

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The 16th International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day is Feb. 28, 2015 (although it’s officially celebrated on Feb. 29th—the only non-repetitive day on the calendar). RSIs, also called musculoskeletal injuries or disorders (MSIs or MSDs), are injuries that affect tendons, muscles, nerves and joints, often in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands.

The goal of this day is to raise awareness of RSIs, MSIs and MSDs, which is especially important for workers. Why? Because they’re one of the most common types of workplace injuries.

RSIs can be caused by:

In addition to reducing workplace injuries, safety professionals should be interested in eliminating RSIs because the OHS laws require employers to take steps to address ergonomics-related hazards, which are often the source of these injures. To do so, take these four steps:

Step #1: Identify and assess ergonomics-related hazards, such as those posed by pushing and pulling materials or equipment.

Step #2: Take steps to eliminate the identified hazards, such as by lowering shelves, raising seats 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.

OHS Insider’s Ergonomics Compliance Centre has many resources that you can use to raise awareness of RSIs and protect workers from developing these injuries, including:

And here are just a few of the many model tools, including forms, checklists and policies available for you to download, adapt and use in your own workplace: