CSNS raising awareness about repetitive strain injury
By Adam FreillConstruction Health & Safety Labour
Safety organization has released several new resources as well as a webinar on International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day
With today being International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, Construction Safety Nova Scotia (CSNS) has introduced resources for construction employers addressing repetitive strain injury. RSI Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of RSIs, which are also known as musculoskeletal injuries. This is a family of painful disorders affecting tendons, muscles, nerves and joints in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms, and hands, that can result from such activities that many construction workers perform on a regular basis.
“These types of injuries can be debilitating for a worker, causing them to not only miss time from work but it also significantly decreases their quality of life,” said MJ MacDonald, CEO of CSNS. “It might not be as high-profile as some other areas of safety in construction, but musculoskeletal injuries and proper ergonomics deserve equal attention on construction sites.”
Provincial numbers in Nova Scotia indicate that RSIs account for 40 per cent of all time-loss claims in the construction sector. According to data from the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, an average claim cost is $7,700.
Back injuries are the most common in the construction sector among this classification of injury, accounting for 34 per cent of the musculoskeletal injury time-loss claims, followed by leg injuries at 15 per cent, and shoulders at 12 per cent.
The injuries commonly occur from lifting, vibration and force, pulling, pushing, bending, gripping, and clenching. According to data from WCB NS, overexertion is the cause for 30 per cent of time-loss claims.
To help employers prevent these injuries, CSNS has released several resources, including a toolbox talk on RSIs, a safe lifting poster, social media tools, videos and safe work practice documents.