Why Is Awareness and Prevention Important?
Occupational injuries to muscles, nerves and tendons (soft tissue) may not be life-ending, but they can certainly be life-altering. They can change everything. They can rob workers of their mobility and their dignity.
Workers are often left unable to care for themselves or those they love. This is the hard reality for many. Year after year work-related repetitive strain injuries (RSI), also commonly known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), account for more than 40 per cent of lost-time injuries (LTI) allowed by Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) — the single largest class of compensation claims. Many more cases of RSI though are never reported.
According to Statistics Canada, 2.3 million Canadian adults annually experience a MSD serious enough to limit their normal activities; and the majority of these injuries are caused by work-related activity. Beyond the social, emotional and economic costs to affected individuals are the economic costs to us all, which add up to $26 billion dollars annually. Much of this paid, not by employers who operate unsafe workplaces, but by Canadian taxpayers through the health care system and income assistance to workers with these injuries and their families.
These statistics and the painful experiences behind them demand solutions.