Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

February 27, 2007 14:13 ET

"Prevent the Pain, Adopt and Enforce Proper Standards!" Canadian Labour Congress Urges on Repetitive Strain Injury Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 27, 2007) - The Canadian Labour Congress calls on the territorial, provincial and federal government to enact and enforce ergonomic regulations to protect all Canadian workers from coast-to-coast-to-coast from the pains of repetitive strain injuries.

"It's time all our governments realize the scale and the seriousness of this matter," explains Marie Clarke Walker, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "One third of all occupational injuries are repetitive strain injuries (often called RSI). They are usually painful and long-lasting, but most often they are not recognized as work-related injuries. Which means, the individual worker carries the burden of the pain and of finding the ways to alleviate it."

"Tomorrow, February 28, is RSI Day. Canadian working families call on all our government to seize that occasion to pledge to pro-actively prevent the RSI in the workplace."

RSI are "soft-tissue" injuries to any part of the body, mostly affecting the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. They are mostly caused by inadequate design of work, work stations, work organization and work operations. Workers' compensation benefits for RSI are difficult to achieve, considering that approximately 50% of legitimate claims are denied by the various Workers' Compensation Boards. Canadian legislation to protect workers from RSI is poor and often not strictly enforced. Some studies estimate that the total cost of RSIs to our society would approach $26.6 billion or 3.4% of the country's gross domestic product.

"At the federal level, in 2000, amendments to the Canada Labour Code Part II included the prescription of ergonomics standards in the federal jurisdiction. In 2002, union representatives started to work with government representatives in order to develop regulations on ergonomics. Five years later, we are still waiting for these regulations," concludes Clarke Walker.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 135 district labour councils. Web site:

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