Work Shouldn’t Hurt

February 29, 2024
Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day Stresses the Importance of Reporting and Treating Common Workplace Injury

Feb. 29 is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day. It’s an occasion to remember that nurses are often injured at work, and that musculoskeletal injury (MSI) – including repetitive strain – is the leading cause of lost-time injury for nurses in BC.

Workers across the province are participating in worksite activities to learn more about the signs and symptoms of RSI to ensure that what hurts today doesn’t become an injury tomorrow. When an MSI develops, it is often painful and disabling, and can interfere with all kinds of tasks at work and at home. The four main hazards for work-related MSI disorder include:

  • Awkward body posture
  • Repetitive movement, especially the rate of repetition
  • The force used in performing tasks
  • Static loading of muscles

The risk of injury resulting from each of these factors can increase over time, when multiple hazards are present, or when regular work includes forceful, repetitive, and awkward movements.

Recognize, Report and Recover

Work-related MSI disorders do not happen overnight. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of MSI so you can report it, treat it and recover. Early signs and symptoms of MSI include:

  • Tightness in muscles • Stiffness in body
  • Tingling and burning sensation in muscles
  • Local swelling or change in skin color

If you experience symptoms, here’s what to do:

  • Seek first aid and follow up with your doctor
  • Report all incidents and near-misses using the incident reporting process for your worksite
  • Start a WorkSafeBC claim for medical treatment and/or missed time. Call TeleClaim at1-888-967-5377 or file online.
  • Request an ergonomic assessment or changes to your work environment, equipment or processes

Contact your BCNU Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) Committee worker representative or steward for more information and visit the BCNU website for more resources.

For further information about MSI, including strains, sprains, patient handling, equipment, education and training, please contact

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