International RSI Awareness Day: ergonomic regulations: how are we doing so far?
February 28, 2013 is the 14th International RSI Awareness Day – a day set aside each year to focus attention on repetitive strain injuries.
This year we are looking at progress made to regulate working conditions that lead to repetitive strain injury.
PSAC has been pushing for the federal program responsible for labour to establish an ergonomic regulation since 1995 to help reduce the incidence of repetitive strain injuries in federally-regulated workplaces.
In 2013 only British Columbia and Saskatchewan have regulations that limit employee exposure to RSI-inducing working conditions.
- Worksafe BC: Regulation and Guidelines: Ergonomics
- Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
PSAC's efforts have been focussed on getting similar regulations put into Part II of the Canada Labour Code. There is still work to do but the Prevention Program Regulation (Part XIX of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations) will now require employers to address ergonomic hazards in the workplace.
Employers, with the participation of Workplace Health and Safety Committees, will be required to identify and assess ergonomic hazards, and introduce corrective measures, such as equipment redesign or mechanical aids, to address the identified ergonomic hazards.
In March 2012, the Canadian Standards Association published a standard, Z1004-12, which outlines the implementation of ergonomic procedures and control measures in workplaces, and includes sections on how to use the Standard, and Reference Tools.
While the standard is voluntary, PSAC will be pushing the HRSDC Labour Program to point to this new Ergonomic Standard in Part XIX of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.
To mark February 28th, 2013, we should ensure that our employers are identifying and assessing of ergonomic hazards in our workplaces, as the Labour Canada Prevention Program requires.
And all of us should be pushing to either create or improve ergonomic regulations to provide protection for all workers against RSI.
What are repetitive strain injuries
Repetitive strain injury, also known as musculoskeletal injury (MSIs) is an describes a series of painful disorders affecting tendons, muscles, nerves and joins in the neck, upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, arms and hands. These disorders are caused by work activities that are frequent and repetitive, or activities that involve awkward postures.
RSI is a serious work related health problem, and a significant cause of human suffering. They can occur in any workplace and affect workers in a variety of occupations.
Date Modified : 2013/02/28