Annual International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Day hopes to raise awareness

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) calls for more awareness of RSI during annual event

Annual International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Day hopes to raise awareness

This past Saturday (Feb. 29) marked the annual International Repetitive Strain Injury Day*.

To highlight the issue, the CCOHS launched the #PreventRSI campaign on social media. Additionally, the CCOHS has provided additional educational resources on their website.

RSI is a major concern in the workplace health and safety space. Jobs in a number of industries come with a whole host of potential injuries, or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, etc.

The CCOHS states that these injuries can occur “in any workplace where people are bending, straightening, gripping, holding, twisting, clenching or reaching for prolonged periods. Over time, these repeated actions, combined with other risk factors such as awkward postures and forceful movements, can eventually affect the muscles, tendons and nerves and cause injuries.” Stress and a lack of breaks are also factors.

Here are a series of steps that can be taken to prevent RSI-related conditions:

  • Avoid repetitive patterns for workers, this can be done by rotating teams and adding more task variety to roles.
  • Adapt workstations to be more ergonomic and optimize body motions and tools when handling material.
  • Mechanize certain tasks if possible to avoid unnecessary strain.

As well as being a workplace hazard, according to the CCOHS, MSDs are also a concern as they are the biggest source of lost-time costs in Canada.

It is important to remember that, whilst only one day of the year is officially devoted to RSI awareness, this is something every worker and workplace should strive to be aware of on a day to day basis, and take the appropriate steps to prevent.

*In a non-leap year this day is marked on Feb. 28