Workers Health & Safety Centre

Ergonomics training key to RSI awareness and pain prevention

Do you have plans to recognize Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day, held annually the last day of February? To mark the event, why not participate in WHSC ergonomics training?
Every year millions of Canadian adults suffer repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), also referred to as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Often, they are serious enough to impact daily lives. Sometimes, they are absolutely debilitating. For many, the root cause of RSIs/MSDs and related suffering is their work.

Train to support prevention

Fortunately, prevention is within reach. Workplace hazards created by poorly designed work can be rectified.  At WHSC we know quality training is a critical step towards awareness and prevention. So, to support RSI Awareness Day and workplaces seeking to enhance their efforts to address the hazards responsible for RSIs/MSDs we are offering ergonomics training at a nominal $20 fee.
Register today! Space is limited.

On offer are our two most popular ergonomics training course, Ergonomics and MSDs and Ergonomics: Basic Principles. They run from February 23 to 28Most courses are delivered in virtual classrooms, though a few in-person opportunities have been scheduled. Don’t see what you need? Call any one of our Training Services representatives to discuss.

Work-related hazards

A host of all-too-common work design and demand hazards play a role in the development of repetitive strain injuries or musculoskeletal disorders including repetition, forceful movements, heavy loads, excessive pace of work, awkward or fixed postures, insufficient recovery time, cold temperatures, vibration, contact stress, and psychosocial stress.

Fortunately, most of these hazards can be identified and eliminated with ergonomic interventions. These interventions involve designing work and work processes to meet the physical and mental needs of workers.

Significant cost of inaction

For some, musculoskeletal pain and disorders keep them from working, performing normal activities at home and in the community, even caring for themselves or loved ones. Many suffer crippling mental distress too. The economic costs can also be staggering.
For decades, MSDs have remained the largest classification of lost-time injury reported to Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) making up approximately one-third of all claims. Beyond these accepted claims, a significant body of research evidence and the experiences of workers suggest many more are never reported to or recognized by the WSIB
Beyond the life-altering impacts suffered by affected individuals and their loved ones, are significant costs to the broader Canadian economy. In fact, research evidence suggests these costs are likely between $40 and $67 billion dollars annually (and this is US dollars). For employers this can include costs related to absenteeism, presenteeism, hiring to replace injured workers, retraining those with injuries unable to perform certain work, and extended health benefits. Still, much of the costs are paid, not by employers who operate unsafe workplaces, but Canadian taxpayers through public health care and income support systems.
These startling economic costs and the painful experiences behind them demand solutions.

Employer obligations

In Ontario, health and safety law places significant obligations on employers to protect workersThis includes a general duty to identify, assess and control or eliminate exposure to all hazards including those that give rise to RSIs/MSDs. Employers must also provide information, instruction and training including RSI/MSD awareness, safe work procedures and processes to report hazards and RSI/MSD-related symptoms including pain, stiffness, tingling and swelling in the affected area.
For workplaces under federal jurisdiction and governed by the Canada Labour Code, employers must develop, implement and monitor a program for the prevention of hazards, including those responsible for the development of RSIs/MSDs. This must include worker and supervisor education.

WHSC can help

All WHSC ergonomics programs focus on the knowledge and tools needed to help identify work design and demand hazards responsible for musculoskeletal pain and disorders. What’s more, this training offers essential insight into prevention solutions. As such, this training is critical for joint health and safety committee members, worker representatives, workers, employers and supervisors, all of whom have a critical role in identifying, assessing and recommending or implementing preventive solutions.

Visit our dedicated web page to learn more about RSI Awareness Day.

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