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Texas Department of Insurance
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Protecting workers from repetitive stress injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, job-related RSIs result in $20 billion in workers’ compensation costs and another $100 billion in lost productivity and indirect expenses every year. RSIs are caused by doing the same motion or activity again and again resulting in injury. These injuries can affect fingers, wrists, elbows, arms, shoulders, knees, and back. Workers in offices, factories, warehouses, hospitals, and construction have a higher risk for RSIs. However, it can happen in any occupation – from a hairstylist to a musician – where repeated strain is placed on your muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Fortunately, employers can help prevent RSIs with these steps:

Repetitive Stress

1 Design ergonomic workstations.

Make workstations comfortable and efficient. This means providing adjustable chairs, good lighting, and equipment set at the right height to avoid strain on the body.

2 Encourage regular breaks and stretching exercises.

Make sure employees take regular breaks to rest and stretch their muscles. This helps prevent using the same muscles too much and improves blood flow, reducing the risk of RSIs.

3 Provide training and education.

Teach employees about the importance of using their bodies correctly to avoid RSIs. Offer training on correct lifting techniques, posture, and positioning to reduce strain during work activities.

4 Switch up tasks and jobs.

Have employees switch between different tasks or workstations. This helps spread the workload evenly and prevents using the same muscles too much.

5 Use tools and devices that help.

Give employees tools and equipment that make their job easier and reduce strain. For example, meat processing workers can use machines to lift heavy objects and transit workers can use ergonomic tools that are easier on their hands and wrists.

More information

Contact the DWC Workplace Safety professionals at for help developing a customized policy to prevent RSIs at your workplace. You can also contact Texas OSHA Consultation Program or call 800-252-7031, option 2, for more information.  

DWC offers a variety of free, downloadable workplace safety and health resources, including publications and videos on RSIs, ergonomics, and musculoskeletal disorders.


For more information, contact:

Last updated: 2/13/2024