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Every year some 2.3 million Canadian adults are crippled
by repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), seriously limiting their daily activities. The majority of these injuries are caused by work-related activity.
In fact, more than 40 per cent of all lost-time injuries
allowed by Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) are RSIs or MSDs. This is the single largest class of compensation claims in the province. Many more are never reported.
Beyond the social, emotional and economic costs
to affected individuals are the economic costs to us all, estimated at upwards of $26 billion dollars annually.
To help focus attention on this growing epidemic, communities across Ontario and around the world have proclaimed the last day of February International RSI Awareness Day
. On this day, special events are held to build awareness and action on RSIs or MSDs and the impact these injuries have on workers, their families and the community.
What can be done?
The majority of RSIs or MSDs are preventable. Critical actions that can be taken include:
Organize and/or participate in a RSI Awareness Day event
Report symptoms and hazards early to your supervisor and joint health and safety committee (JHSC) or health and safety representative
Report work-related MSDs to WSIB immediately
Insist on quality training to address these issues
Press employers to implement ergonomic prevention solutions
Encourage governments to enact effective and enforced ergonomic regulations.
Download WHSC docs for sharing