Feb 28, 2013 - 14th Annual International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
February 7, 2013
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
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:
Thursday February 28, 2013
9:30 am - 4 pm, Registration and coffee at 9 am
Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto (Spadina and College)
In order to plan for food and space requirements, please register by
* 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
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
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.
Click here for training dates, registration, and information.