OHS Canada Magazine

CCOHS encourages workplaces to bring awareness to pain, strain prevention

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February 25, 2021
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety ccohs Ergonomics/Muscoloskeletal Injuries RSI

On International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day (Feb. 28, 2021), the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) in Hamilton, Ont., is encouraging workplaces across Canada to help spread awareness on preventing these debilitating injuries in the workplace.

Also known as musculoskeletal disorders, repetitive strain injuries are an umbrella term used to describe a family of painful disorders affecting tendons, muscles, nerves and joints in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands.

These injuries can happen to workers from all types of industries. Gripping, holding, bending, twisting, clenching and reaching — these ordinary movements that we naturally make every day are not particularly harmful in the activities of our daily lives.

What does make them hazardous in work situations, though, is the continual repetition of the movements.


Other contributing work factors may include awkward postures and fixed body positions, excessive force concentrated on small parts of the body such as the hand or wrist, a fast pace of work with insufficient breaks or recovery time, and psychosocial factors such as stress.

Raising awareness

  • With four designs to choose from, anyone can share CCOHS’ collection of cards on social media to spread the word about repetitive strain injuries. Use the hashtag #PreventRSI on Feb. 28 to show your support.
  • Organizations can provide workers with information about repetitive strain injuries by downloading and posting a website badge that links to CCOHS’ free resources and tools on musculoskeletal disorders and other ergonomic concerns.

The collection of shareable social media cards and website badges, along with additional resources such as infographics, fact sheets, online courses, podcasts, and mobile apps are available on CCOHS’ International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day website.

“During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians have experienced significant challenges both physically and mentally as they have had to adapt and pivot to a new way of working,” said Anne Tennier, CCOHS president and CEO.

“Now more than ever, there is a need to create safer workplaces and one way we can do that is by raising awareness and promoting prevention practices on International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day.”

Quick facts

  • International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day is Feb. 29 (Feb. 28 in non-leap years). As the only “non-repetitive” day of the year, it’s the ideal date to devote to raising awareness of repetitive strain injuries.
  • Repetitive strain injuries are a risk in any workplace and the introduction of new processes and equipment in response to COVID-19 may create additional conditions that could increase the risk.


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