February 28 was Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) reminded workplaces to learn the causes of, and help prevent, repetitive strain injuries.
Also known as musculoskeletal disorders, repetitive strain injuries are a general term used to describe a family of painful disorders affecting tendons, muscles, nerves and joints in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands. The ordinary movements that we perform at work such as gripping, lifting, clicking, twisting, and reaching shouldn’t cause pain but when done repeatedly, awkwardly, and forcefully, they can lead to ongoing, and sometimes irreversible pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis are two examples of these disorders.
Because repetitive strain injuries develop slowly, employers and workers should be educated about the causes of these injuries, and on how to recognize the early signs and symptoms. Hazards are best eliminated at the source, and with musculoskeletal disorders, the prime source of hazard is the repetitiveness of work.
To help workplaces promote International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day in their workplace and work towards preventing these injuries, the CCOHS website at http://www.ccohs.ca/events/rsi is a dedicated page populated with free infographics, shareable social media images and messaging, informative fact sheets, posters, and podcasts.