Preventing Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs)

By Manu Nellutla. Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness (RSI) day is on the last day of February every year. Great for it to be on a day which is not repeating itself every year! This year it is on February 28th. In this context, we are pleased to provide this reminder to ensure that we all are ready to prevent RSIs.

The term RSI is generic and describes a variety of injuries that affect tendons, tendon sheaths, muscles, nerves, joints, and other soft tissues. RSIs are a serious workplace health concern causing pain and suffering for many workers. They place a burden on productivity and compensation costs.

RSIs are caused by various repetitive actions in work situations e.g., cutting meat or working in a production line or keying in the computer. When performed in awkward postures for a prolonged time, excessive forces are placed on small parts of the body such as the hand or wrist. A combination of factors and the interaction among them can cause RSIs.

RSIs can be prevented by first eliminating the source. Jobs should be structured to introduce micro-breaks, stretches, and rotation between various tasks. Micro-breaks of 20 seconds after every 20-30 minutes of work can be of advantage especially if a small stretch is performed during that time.

It is very important to understand that both employees and employers play a major role in the prevention of RSIs. Employers should provide training and also conduct more specific task assessments to identify the sources of injury.

FIOSA-MIOSA offer’s various Ergonomics Services which assist in identifying sources of musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) and provide solutions in preventing and minimizing the risks. One of the tools that we have developed for the FIOSA-MIOSA staff is a poster which can be printed and posted at every employee’s desk. It involves the Vision 2020 model which is a concept developed by Manu Nellutla. Employees are encouraged to take micro-breaks and to stretch their muscles. You can also find the same here!