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:
- Insufficient recovery time
- Forceful movements
- Awkward or fixed postures
- Cold temperatures
- Contact stress
- Pace of work
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:
- Understand employers’ legal obligations under the OHS laws
- Identify and assess ergonomics-related hazards
- Implement measures to address those hazards, using these techniques to cut through senior management’s resistance and get money for ergonomics improvements
- Use these seven strategies to make your ergonomics program a success.
And here are some tools to help you to protect workers from RSIs:
- Lifting Hazard Assessment Checklist
- Office Ergonomics Risk Factor Checklist
- Manual Handling Checklist
- Model Worker MSI Symptom Survey
- Ergonomic Risk Factor Checklist
- Checklist for Evaluating Ergonomics Programs
- Form for Investigating Neck, Shoulder and Upper Back Injuries
- Form for Investigating Injuries to the Hips, Knees and Feet
- Form for Investigating Elbow, Forearm and Hand Injuries
At SafetySmart you’ll find:
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