RSIs (Repetitive Strain Injuries) are the most common type of workplace injury in Canada. They include a variety of disorders that affect muscles, tendons, nerves and joints. Injuries to the wrists, fingers, forearms, hands, elbows, shoulders and the neck are the most recurrent.
RSI Day is an opportunity to promote injury prevention and raise awareness about the prevalence of RSIs and their harmful affects. RSIs affect workers forced to do monotonous, repetitive jobs, who work too long or too fast and with too few breaks.
Often, workers are forced to work in awkward positions or spend too long standing. Bad work organization (e.g., forced and unnecessary overtime, staff cutbacks and layoffs, poorly maintained equipment) contributes to RSIs. Workplace stress and lack of control over work also have a hand in RSIs.
The first RSI Awareness Day was February 29, 2000. That day was selected because it was the only non-repetitive day of the year. The day is recognized on the 28th in non-leap years.
For more information on RSIs, including detailed prevention strategies, take a look at the RSI fact sheet or contact the National Health and Safety Branch to request copies. And watch for the new Ergonomics Guideline early in 2006.
Source: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)