Invisible injuries are some of the most dangerous occupational injuries plaguing today’s workforce.
According to Statistics Canada, every year approximately 2.3 million Canadians experience Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs). In Ontario alone, RSIs account for more than 40% of all lost-time injuries allow by the WSIB – making these injuries the single largest class of compensation claims in the province.
Despite their widespread prevalence, these injuries are often dismissed, ignored, or unidentified.
Today, on International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Day, it is important to recognize those who suffer from these injuries, as well as to raise awareness and prevent these debilitating injuries from happening to workers.
RSIs, also known as musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs), affect muscles, tendons and nerves of the neck, back, shoulders and hands and are a result of a variety of factors, such as repetition, forceful movements, awkward positions, cold temperatures, stress, fast-paced work, and vibration. The disease affects a wide range of workers across different sectors, with common symptoms such as discomfort, pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. The symptoms are often gradual so it’s important to raise awareness so workers seek help from their doctor, supervisor and Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) as soon as they notice issues, as they can be treated much easier if diagnosed early.
Recognizing RSIs as being work-related is also vital because there is a strong link between RSIs and mental health issues, another potentially debilitating invisible injury which requires greater awareness. It is important to raise awareness on both visible and invisible illnesses in the workplace.