Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Day+


21st Annual RSI Day+ Webinar

“What is a Worker’s Life Worth?”

Presented in Partnership with the Sudbury Local Advisory Committee

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) refers to a category of injuries involving damage to muscles, tendons and nerves caused by overuse or misuse.
Workplace injuries such as repetitive strain injuries (RSI’s) affect 15% or over 5 million Canadians.


The following presentations were made at our 2020 RSI Day event:

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It’s easy to place a dollar value on work, but how do we calculate the value of the life of a worker?
Health and Safety regulations are weak and poorly enforced.
Fines are low, compensation is limited.
We don’t even know what counts as an occupational death.

Panel intro and background segment: Reuben Roth, Moderator

A Thought-Provoking Discussion by a Panel of Canadian experts:

Steven Bittle is an Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. His research and teaching interests include crimes of the powerful, corporate crime, corporate criminal liability, safety crimes, and the sociology of law. His publications include Still Dying for a Living: Corporate Criminal Liability after the Westray Mine Disaster (2012, UBC Press); “Work-related Deaths in Canada,” Labour/Le Travail, 82 (Fall 2018): 159–187 (with A. Chen and J. Hébert); and “Obscuring Corporate Violence: Corporate Manslaughter in Action”, Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 58(4): 554-579 (with J. Hébert and S. Tombs).

Paul Demers is the Director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre, based in Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario), and a Professor with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He has a PhD in epidemiology and Master’s degree in occupational hygiene and his research focuses primarily on occupational cancer and other diseases. He has been a member of many national and international expert committees dealing with occupational cancer.

Bob Barnetson is a professor of labour relations at Athabasca University. Bob is an active trade unionist and a member of his university’s occupational health and safety committee. Bob is the author of The political economy of workplace injury in Canada (2010) and co-author (with Jason Foster) of Health and safety in Canadian workplaces (2016).

Janice Martell is an Occupational Health Coordinator at OHCOW. In April, 2015, she founded the McIntyre Powder Project, creating a voluntary registry to document health issues in mine workers – including her father, Jim Hobbs – who were historically exposed to compulsory aluminum inhalation under the McIntyre Powder prophylaxis program. Janice is a strong advocate for workers’ compensation system reform, particularly for occupational diseases.

J.P. Mrochek is currently a full time WSIB worker advocate for the United Steelworkers Local 6500 with specialized knowledge of occupation disease in the nickel producing industry. Workers in the nickel mining industry were exposed to multiple known carcinogens and toxins which have resulted in significant harm impacting quality of life and death. Since 2006, he has assisted hundreds of pensioners or their estates with their WSIB occupational disease claims. J.P. has also actively lobbied the Ontario government to protection benefits for WSIB widows of occupational disease victims and for the protections of benefits for retired COPD victims.

The following references were used in the preparation of the above presentations:

Jordan Barab. Acts of God, Acts of Man. WorkingUSA, vol. 7, no. 2, Fall 2003, pp. 7–23.

Bob Barnetson. 2010. The Political Economy of Workplace Injury in Canada. Athabasca AB: Athatbasca University Press.

Steven Bittle, Ashley Chen, and Jasmine Hébert, “Work-Related Deaths in Canada,” Labour/Le Travail 82 (Fall 2018): 159–187.

Cancer Care Ontario and the Occupational Cancer Research Centre. “Burden of Occupational Cancer in Ontario,”

Ann Del Bianco and Paul A. Demers. “Trends in compensation for deaths from occupational cancer in Canada,” CMAJ Open 2013.DOI:10.9778/cmajo.2013-0015.

Jason Foster and Bob Barnetson. 2016. Health and Safety in Canadian Workplaces. Athabasca AB: Athatbasca University Press.

Sean Tucker and Anya Keefe. “2019 Report on Work Fatality and Injury Rates in Canada.” 25 Apr. 2019. Regina, SK: University of Regina.

Previous Years

Use the following links to access resources from previous years events: