Upper limb repetitive strain injuries in Manitoba.Am J Ind Med. 1996 Oct; 30(4):461-72.AJ
A review of workers' compensation board (WCB) claims in Manitoba, Canada identified an estimated 382 upper limb repetitive strain injury (RSI) claims or 9.3% of all upper limb WCB claims accepted in 1991. Tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) were the most frequent diagnoses (27.5% and 19.3%, respectively). Rates of RSI were not significantly different by gender and age. RSI claimants had been experiencing symptoms for an average of 8 months prior to filing a compensation claim. While clerical occupations accounted for 13.6% of all upper limb RSI claims, the rates for RSIs in these occupations were low (0.67/1,000 workers), in contrast to occupations with the highest RSI rates: food, beverage, and related processing occupations (14.68/1,000 workers) and fabricating, assembling, and repairing of metal products (9.32/1,000). The highest risk industries were meat and poultry processing-related (23.48/1,000) and the manufacturing of airplanes (9.06/1,000). RSI claims were significantly more costly (+5,569 vs. +2,480, p < 0.0001) and required more time loss (71.4 vs. 33.6 d, p < 0.0001) than similar musculoskeletal non-RSI claims. Similarly, RSI claimants were less likely to return to the same job (67.3% vs. 81.0%, p < 0.0001) than non-RSI claimants. It was concluded that the cost and severity of RSI claims militate for intensified preventive measures.