Repetitive strain injuries

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A work injury may arise from repetitive work activities and/or poor ergonomics, resulting in a repetitive strain injury (RSI). Find out what injuries are considered RSIs, the risk factors for RSIs and factors that may or may not support a RSI claim.

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A work injury may arise from repetitive work activities and/or poor ergonomics, resulting in a repetitive strain injury (RSI). These injuries can result in pain, fatigue and a decline in work performance.

RSI includes, but is not limited to:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • epicondylitis (tennis or golfer’s elbow)
  • cubital tunnel syndrome
  • tendonitis
  • rotator cuff
  • shoulder impingement syndrome
  • radial tunnel syndrome
  • thoracic outlet syndrome
  • trigger finger
  • disablements from vibrations

Risk factors for RSI

There are three major risk factors for RSI in the workplace:

  1. Repetition: The number of times a specific activity is repeated and the percentage of the workday it occurs.
  2. Force: The weight or impact of an object being handled and/or the force of body action required to carry out an activity.
  3. Ergonomics: Body positioning, both static and dynamic, required to do an activity and the setup of the work area.

Daily job duties can lead to a workplace RSI if there is a high repetition and force in your daily tasks. Poor ergonomics can increase this risk even further.

Risk factors for RSI
Factors that may support an RSI claim* Factors that do not support an RSI claim*

a precise symptom onset during a work activity

symptom onset away from employment

new activities in your job

activities performed for many years

recent increase in activities at work

recent increase in activities outside of work

your age and years of activity

other medical considerations, such as medications or therapies

improved symptoms away from work

bilateral symptoms without bilateral activity


continuing or increasing symptoms away from work

* These factors are not used as the sole basis for accepting or denying a claim.

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