Across all industries, musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) are a leading cause of worker’s compensation claims, making up 50-60% of all cases in Canada. Back and upper-extremity MSIs are the most frequently reported, and, ultimately, the costliest. The situation in Alberta is no exception to this.
Of the 22,400 employees in the food and beverage processing industry – accounting for 19.4% of the province’s manufacturing workforce – at least 11,200 will suffer from an MSI this year. Approximately 50% will injure their back, and 30%, the upper extremity (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, fingers). Lost-time claims for upper-extremity MSIs among food processing employees alone cost Albertans roughly $22.5-million per year.
At the request of the Alberta Food Processors Association – the non-profit organization representing all segments of Alberta’s 2nd largest industry – a Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist will be conducting workshops for AFPA members and other Albertans focused on tips and tools for effectively reducing upper-extremity MSIs. The Ergonomist, Annie Barnwell of EWI Works, an ergonomics consultancy with offices in Edmonton and Calgary, will be leading two half-day workshops, the first, on Oct. 3rd in Edmonton, and the second on Oct. 17th in Calgary.
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