Picture yourself completing a simple motion, such as screwing a lid onto a jar. Seems simple enough, right? Now picture yourself completing that same task repeatedly and continuously for hours. A previously simple task can now pose a danger for you, possibly resulting in repetitive strain injury, more commonly known as RSI.
RSI — or Repetitive Strain Injury — is used to describe the pain, which is felt in the nerves, muscles, and tendons due to overuse and repeated movements. RSI is sometimes referred to as Upper Limb Disorders, cumulative trauma disorder, or occupational overuse syndrome.
In some jobs, repetitive motions are unavoidable, which is why employers should provide adjustments to help protect their staff from injuries and prevent discrimination. Not only is this an ethical obligation, but a legal responsibility of the employer to create a safe working environment for all their employees.
Not only is RSI painful and uncomfortable for the workers who suffer from it, but it can also be costly for employers. The lost working days, reduced salary, financial stress, limited future employment opportunities, and other psychological and physical health issues add up.
It’s crucial for all employers to address problems related to unsafe work practices before they worsen. Employers should encourage their employees to speak up about any pain or discomfort they feel so that their condition and workspace can be assessed, and appropriate treatment can be attained. Whether it’s an office space or an assembly line, RSI can become a problem in a number of different types of working environments, and should be effectively avoided.
What is an RSI?
A repetitive strain injury is a work-related injury to the muscles, tendons, nerves, and soft tissue in the upper limbs. It mainly affects areas including the neck, shoulders, forearms, elbows, hands, and wrists.
RSIs are painful conditions that can result from forceful exertions, vibrations, repetitive tasks, mechanical compressions, or awkward working positions for extended periods.
RSI is a painful condition that should be taken seriously, and all precautions should be taken to avoid this potentially debilitating condition. If RSI does develop, it should be treated immediately to prevent permanent damage.
There are a number of risk factors which should be watched for when it comes to RSI, including:
- Completing repetitive tasks for long periods, without any breaks
- Inadequate working environments with a poor set up
- Poor posture or work-related tasks which require you to remain in awkward positions
Suppose you perform a job involving repetitive actions or motions completed for long periods daily. In that case, you are more likely to develop RSI, and therefore should take the proper precautions to avoid it.
Prevention of RSI
Prevention of RSI is much simpler than its cure, and work should be adapted immediately at the first sign of symptoms to avoid exacerbating the problem. This can be done by adjusting your workstation, ensuring that all equipment is used correctly and that you continue to take frequent breaks.
Employers must ensure that all tasks being carried out by their employees are safe by performing a risk assessment of all tasks and equipment that could potentially cause injury.
- Setting up a Safe Workspace
- Maintaining Good Posture
Your workspace is an important area, and your health is closely linked to how it is set up. It’s essential to create an appropriate workspace in which you can work safely and effectively, and a place where RSI can be prevented.
Your workspace should be equipped with a chair or other furniture that allows your:
- Back to remain supported, erect, and your shoulders relaxed
- Arms to remain straight when using a keyboard
- Feet remain flat on the floor
- The screen remains at eye level
At Delta Regis, we understand the importance of worker safety in all areas of manufacturing, which is why we offer specialized products so that you can protect your operators from injury and increase accuracy at the same time.
Torque reaction arms are used to absorb and transfer the reaction force generated at the screwdriver during fastening and balance the weight of the tool without having a significant effect on dexterity.
With the help of our torque reaction arms, operators can effortlessly maneuver the tool around the workstation to increase accuracy and efficiency and reduce the chances of developing RSI.
Communicating and having open access to management, occupational health professionals, and human resource officers is the best way to ensure that you have a supportive environment and the right help you need if you’re concerned about RSI.
The work you complete daily is meant to help increase your experience, refine your skillset, and offer you benefits, including a salary. Your job is not intended to cause you physical harm, which could lead to several different problems down the road.
Unfortunately, RSI and other work-related injuries are a reality for many individuals who complete different types of repetitive or physically exerting tasks daily.
As employees, it’s important to be aware of any discomfort you may experience while on the job. The earlier you can detect discomfort and potential ways to improve your workstation, the sooner you can prevent injury.
To learn more about tools to help employees who have RSI, call Delta Regis at 1-888-473-6862 or contact us here.