Toronto – February 25, 2014 – On February 28, UFCW Canada will join workers and other labour groups around the world to recognize Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day. Health and safety activists initiated the annual day of awareness in 2000 to help bring attention to an occupational hazard that affects thousands of people in many different sectors of the economy.
Also known as musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), the term repetitive strain injury (RSI) refers to a number of injuries that affect the body’s muscles, nerves, and tendons. Some common RSIs include tendinitis, tenosynovitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
One in 10 Canadian workers is afflicted with some form of RSI and, besides the emotional strain that these injuries can have on affected workers and their families, the cost of dealing with RSIs exceeds $26 billion – or 3 percent of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) – every year.
Despite the massively negative impact of RSIs on workers and the economy, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador are the only provinces that have so far recognized the need for regulatory action to address this issue.
“RSIs are a painful reality for thousands of workers in Canada, and a tremendous source of frustration for worker advocates because most repetitive strain injuries are so preventable,” says National Representative Jim Wright, who chairs the UFCW Canada National Council Workplace Rights Committee. “The first step in prevention is awareness, and that is why the Workplace Rights Committee is once again offering the RSI poster and other related tools and resources,” adds Brother Wright.
UFCW Canada's 2014 RSI Awareness Day poster is now available for download in both French and English, and members, staff, and allies can also access the MSD Prevention Toolbox – which UFCW Canada co-developed with the Ontario Ministry of Labour and other stakeholder groups – via the links provided on this page.