Blog Post #529 – Focus On Shoulder Tendonitis

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

The Prince Edward Island WCB in Charlottetown has produced a series of fact sheets in a bid to keep stakeholders in the know.

The sheets provide workers, employers and service providers with details on a variety of conditions, treatments and expected recovery times.

The latest offering, released on February 8, 2011 provides numerous tips on shoulder tendonitis.

What is it? Shoulder tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder. Risk factors include frequent use of the arm in an overhead position or throwing motion, jobs with overhead assembly or lifting, a direct blow to the shoulder and a fall on an outstretched arm.

How was it diagnosed? Early signs include a slight pain in the shoulder/upper arm area when the arm is moved up and down. Pain often increases as the shoulder is moved away from the body.

How is it treated? Treatment involves resting the shoulder and avoiding activities that cause pain. Ice packs applied to the shoulder and on-the sterile ROI tool and anti-inflammatory will help reduce inflammation and pain.

How can it be prevented? Since most cases of tendinitis are caused by overuse, the best treatment is prevention. Modify and/or avoid activities that cause the problem.

What about work accommodation? Do not use the arm above shoulder level, and avoid any test that involved lifting, carrying and-related duties as these can be tolerated.

My opinion

The province of Prince Edward Island has finally realized that ‘Repetitive Strain Injuries‘ or RSIs are a real threat to the workplace. In Ontario, approximately 42% of all reported injuries are sprains and strains in the workplace usually due to repetitive motion on the job. As a health and safety professional, it is my belief that the provincial governments need to recognize this potential hazard in the workplace and ensure that the employer’s understand the need to protect long term workers from this type of injury. The employer needs to understand that time on the job, ergonomics, the physical fitness of the employee, as well as the environment the employee is working in, all play a big part in the development of this type of accident/incident. The job has to be engineered to include safeguards of this nature.

In closing, I have to say that most workplaces that I travel to, as a health and safety trainer, seem to understand the need to protect their workers. I would highly recommend an ergonomic assessment of job stations and work cubicles in the office to be completed as soon as possible. Two things will be accomplished, 1) the workforce will see the employer attempting to improve the environment, and 2) the employer can see firsthand the benefits of this type of assessment. Hire an Ergonomist. You will be glad you did!

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Ergonomic Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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