International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day 2020

February 5, 2020

February 29 is International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, which is dedicated to RSI education and prevention. Every year some 2.3 million Canadian adults are crippled by RSIs and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that seriously limit their daily activities. The majority of these injuries are caused by work-related activities. For health-care workers, musculoskeletal pain and disorders are "by far and away the primary type of injury suffered" with almost half caused by patient handling.

RSIs and MSDs account for more than 40 per cent of all lost-time injuries allowed by Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB.) This is the single largest class of compensation claims in the province. Many more go unreported, and many that are reported are turned down.

The majority of RSIs or MSDs are preventable. Actions that can be taken include:

  • Report symptoms and hazards early to your supervisor and joint health and safety committee (JHSC) or health and safety representative
  • Insist on quality training to address these issues
  • Press employers to implement ergonomic prevention solutions
  • Encourage governments to enact effective and enforced ergonomic regulations
  • Organize and/or participate in an RSI Awareness Day event

International RSI Awareness Day events take place across Ontario, including:

RSI Day+ Webinar: Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) celebrates 21 years of increasing awareness on musculoskeletal disorders and related occupational health issues with its annual free webinar. Presented in Partnership with the Sudbury Local Advisory Committee, there will also be a panel discussion on this year’s theme “What is a Worker’s Life Worth?” in the afternoon. The session will be broadcast on February 28, 2020 from the eDome at Sudbury’s Cambrian College. It can be accessed by anyone online, regardless of geographic location. All that is required is a high-speed internet connection and sound. You must register by February 25. Click here for registration details.

Please encourage your members and colleagues to participate in an RSI Awareness Day event in their communities. We need to work together to raise awareness and educate workers so these injuries can be prevented!

Learn More:

Click here to see the RSI Awareness Day fact sheet prepared by the Workers Health and Safety Centre.

Visit the Ontario Ministry of Labour website to learn more about RSIs/MSDs and access helpful resources.

ONA's Health and Safety webpage has information about MSDs and Joint Health and Safety Committee resources.

Visit the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers website for information about occupational disease, injuries and illnesses, and helpful resources.