International RSI Awareness Day – February 28, 2015
Over 2 million Canadian adults are diagnosed and learning to cope with repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) each year and this number is increasing steadily. The impact of these injuries and disorders, not only on the individuals involved, but on our society as a whole is enormous, which is why the last day of February has been recognized as International RSI Awareness Day.
These injuries and disorders can be crippling, seriously affecting the ability to work or even perform daily activities. They often develop slowly, over time and although there is some discussion about the direct cause, it is accepted that work-related activities can be a contributing factor to the onset, severity and location of an RSI or MSD. As such, the number of acceptable WCB claims in Alberta for RSIs has been rising, especially within office workplaces, where an increased use of computers, keyboards, mouses and other technology is seen. As technology advances and more job duties and tasks are digitized and computerized, we will likely see a further increase in RSI claims from different and unexpected occupations.
As with any injury, the best method of prevention is eliminating the hazard at it’s source but due to the insidious nature of RSIs and MSDs it is not always easy to identify what the hazard is or will be. There are prevention and control measures that can be put into practice including ergonomic assessments of workstations, identifying and addressing repetitiveness of work duties, reviewing equipment and procedural practices and proper job design. Even implementing these measures can not prevent all RSIs in the workplace, therefore early diagnosis and intervention is key to minimizing any claims cost. It is involvement and communication on the part of workers and management to develop effective reporting procedures to identify and address issues as early as possible,
If you would like more information on RSIs, MSDs, their prevention and treatment, you can contact us directly at BCL.Calgary@bclconsulting.ca, BCL.Edmonton@bclconsulting.ca, by phone, at 1-844-377-9545 or you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.