Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is an umbrella term for a number of overuse injuries that can occur from work. RSIs affect muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms, and hands. Typically arising as aches and pains, these injuries can progress to become crippling disorders that prevent sufferers from working and from leading normal lives.
The work relatedness of RSI is under attack. Three hundred years after Bernardino Ramazzini, the father of occupational medicine, first wrote about RSIs, WSIB quietly commissioned a report on “Permanent Impairment Advisory Services” from a US firm, Brigham & Associates. Without announcement or public consultation, the report was sought, contracted, written, and submitted back to the WSIB within 3 short months (Jan-April 2012). As unbelievable as it sounds, this Brigham report states that RSI diagnoses "are not appropriate and may actually lead the patient to believe that he or she has a condition that is something more than the ordinary aches and pains of life". Not only will this be disastrous for those workers suffering from RSI but it will lead to more injuries as there will be no need or attention paid to prevent injuries that are not deemed related to work.
This is a disturbing trend that we saw last year with low back pain. In 2012, Ontario researchers criticized the results of a systematic review that called into question the idea that occupational physical injuries cause low back pain. Specifically, the authors did a systematic review of their own other eight systematic reviews to get to these findings. Injured workers can tell you that work causes low back pain, just like they can tell us and the WSIB that RSIs from work cause debilitating, life-long injuries—if only they were asked. Instead, injured workers once again find themselves and their allies having to defend and critically analyze the “scientific reports” that the WSIB obtains to inform WSIB policy. It is important to critically analyze and consider sweeping conclusions and to study the validity and scientific basis of such claims before they form the basis of WSIB policy.
Please join us as we learn about the disturbing trend in workers compensation, what this report says and hear from the experts on how to counter this attack and protect all workers. This is a very important RSI Day, so please plan to attend if you are in the Toronto area.
Conference in Toronto:
Date: Thursday February 28, 2013
Time: 9:30 am – 4 pm, Registration and coffee at 9 am
Location: Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto (Spadina and College)
In order to plan for food and space requirements, please register by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Please note, we rely on the generous donations from unions and community groups to offer this free conference each year, so all who wish to attend are able. If your group wishes to donate to cover the cost of the food and room rental, please contact Catherine at email@example.com All donations are appreciated.
Important: This is a Scent-Free event. Please refrain from wearing any scented products out of consideration for those who are adversely affected by scents.
Other RSI events in Ontario Feb 28, 2013
Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers OHCOW are hosting an ergonomics conference at Cambrian College that can be attended online from 830-1230. For more information click here for registration information, the brochure and the agenda.
The Workers Health and Safety Centre (WHSC) is offering reduced cost ergonomics training locations across Ontario.