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Statement to the Legislature
by the Honourable Yasir Naqvi
Minister of Labour:
International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day

  • Issued: February 28, 2013
  • Content last reviewed: February 2013

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

Thank you, Speaker.

Today marks the 14th annual International Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day.

When we hear of injuries on the job, sometimes we think of falling and hitting your head.

Others think of losing a limb.

But, work-related repetitive strain injuries – also known as RSIs – are among the most common ways of being injured on the job.

It can result from doing the same motion over and over again without suitable breaks … or when our limbs are put in awkward positions during repetitive work.

Whether it’s a teenager stocking shelves at the local supermarket in Thunder Bay… or someone simply sitting at their computer in their office cubicle in downtown Ottawa… RSIs can affect anyone.

Anywhere.

The forces used on the job can be small…as simple as typing…but the impact can be devastating.

Some end up with a constant gnawing pain in their ligaments.

Others feel so much pain that they can’t get a good night’s sleep.

Others struggle to even get out of bed.

RSIs are a major component of musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs, which account for 42 per cent of all lost-time injuries in Ontario.

In 2010 – in one year alone – that amounted to 739,000 working days and more than $92 million in medical and other claims.

So much pain and suffering for tens of thousands of workers every year across Ontario…yet so easy to overlook.

And so each year, we mark Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day to promote avoidance of these injuries…which can drastically change the life of those who have them.

That’s why the Ministry of Labour continues to take action to help workers avoid these injuries.

On our website,( www.ontario.ca/labour ) we have a wealth of resources, from videos to fact sheets…interactive tools to podcasts and posters.

It contains dozens of sector-specific examples about how these hazards can be eliminated or controlled through innovative designs and workplace practices.

Some of that information is available in 14 different languages, in addition to English and French.

As part of our Safe At Work Ontario enforcement strategy, we conduct inspection blitzes that focus on MSD hazards.

The Ministry also conduct blitzes focusing on other hazards, with MSDs as a strong component.

Our government is committed to ensuring workers in this province are protected from injuries and major health hazards on the job.

But, it all starts with you… it starts in your workplace.

So starting today, let’s renew our efforts to ensure that our workplaces address these hazards.

Let’s work hard to ensure that our workers are protected from hazards that could result in years of pain.

It starts with us.

It starts with Prevention.

And prevention starts here. Thank you.