Workplace Repetitive Strain Injuries
injuries (RSI's) in the workplace, including, but
not limited to carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis,
have risen to pandemic proportions during the past
5 years. Without even considering worldwide costs,
the United States alone spends more than 100 billion
These annual expenditures
include lost time from work, job retraining, light
duty restrictions, employee replacements / fill-ins,
rehabilitation, surgery, increased insurance premiums
and many other factors. Even with these tremendous
costs to businesses, individuals, government and
taxpayers, the problem continues to be ignored,
resulting in an even greater number of workplace
injuries and overall costs.
disorders are the country's most costly category
of workplace injuries and illnesses. In addition
to spending $20 billion annually on workers'
compensation costs due to RSI's, the U.S. spends
another $100 billion on lost productivity, employee
turnover, and other indirect expenses." The
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research .
The solution? Quit
ignoring the problem and implement "prevention" protocols
to eliminate repetitive strain injuries before
they arise! Here are a few ways to do just that,
with minimal costs to businesses and huge long-term
savings for everyone!
Job rotation helps to eliminate repetitive strain injuries in the workplace.
When implementing job rotation, the tasks must engage different muscle groups
in order to allow recovery for those muscle groups already being strained.
Be sure that each task takes not longer than 1-hour before moving to another
In this category the key is to fit
the workplace to the worker, not the worker
to the workplace in order to reduce the
onset of repetitive strain injuries. Having
a properly designed workstation decreases
the effort required in order to maintain
a proper working position. (The workstation
must be adjustable to fit the worker.)
The use of proper (ergonomic) tools and equipment significantly decreases the
amount of force necessary to complete any given task, thereby reducing the
chance of becoming afflicted with a repetitive strain injury. These tools
don't actually eliminate the onset of a repetitive strain injury, but may
increase the time in which it takes to get the injury. ( i.e. The
injury occurs in 10- years instead of 2-years)
Taking necessary breaks and performing stretches
and exercises to keep the over and underused muscles balanced are the most
significant elements in preventing repetitive strain injuries from arising.
Well-balanced muscles eliminate nerve impingement syndromes like carpal tunnel
syndrome and encourage circulation, providing oxygen to surrounding muscles
Talk with your
employee health supervisor about implementing the
necessary protocols to keep workers healthy and
costs down. Take the responsibility of your health
into your own hands and do the things necessary
to prevent a repetitive strain injury from affecting
Anliker, LMT, is a Therapist and Inventor of Therapeutic
Exercise Products that are utilized by Corporations,
Consumers and Medical Facilities around the world
for the prevention
and rehabilitation of repetitive strain injuries.