strain 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
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. "Musculoskeletal
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 and nerves.
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 you!
Mr. Anliker 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. cts-rehab.com