Toronto – February 25, 2019 – Each year, the last day of February marks Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day. The day brings attention to an occupational hazard that affects tens of thousands of people in just about every sector of the economy.
RSIs, also known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), are terms used to describe painful disorders that affect tendons, muscles, nerves, and joints in the neck, back, chest, shoulders, arms, and hands. Some common RSIs include tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Studies have shown that one in every ten Canadian workers are affected by some form of RSI. In addition to the emotional and physical strains that these injuries place on those affected, the economic impact of RSIs is estimated to be $26 billion annually.
In Ontario alone, more than 40 per cent of all lost-time claims are caused by RSIs. And yet, despite the negative impact on workers and the economy, there are only a handful of provinces that recognize the need for regulatory action to address this issue.
Most repetitive strain injuries are preventable. That is why governments should proactively support and implement effective ergonomic regulations, as well as workplace training aimed at preventing RSIs and addressing issues surrounding these injuries.
To help members, activists, and allies raise awareness of RSIs in the workplace, UFCW Canada has created a 2019 RSI Awareness Day poster that is available for download in both English and French.