Workers’ Compensation And Repetitive Stress Injuries
When people think about work-related injuries, they usually think about injuries sustained in sudden accidents. For example, they think about a worker injuring their back while lifting a heavy object or a worker slipping and falling on a wet floor and injuring their arm. However, not all work-related injuries happen suddenly. Other work-related injuries, such as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), occur over time. Repetitive stress injuries account for a large percentage of all workplace injuries. Some job-related tasks might not seem harmful, but over time these tasks can result in repetitive stress injuries.
A repetitive stress injury can be just as painful and debilitating as an injury that happens suddenly. Fortunately, RSIs are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. If you have suffered a work-related RSI, you may be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Understanding Work-related Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries go by different names. They are also known as repetitive motion injuries or cumulative trauma injuries. So what exactly is a repetitive stress injury? An RSI usually occurs when a worker makes the same motion and uses the same body part repeatedly while performing work tasks. The constant use of a body part to do the same work over and over again gradually damages muscles, nerves, and tendons.
Although every case is different, many repetitive stress injuries take months to years to fully develop.
Which Work Activities Can Cause Repetitive Stress Injuries?
Workers in many different industries are at risk of suffering RSIs. The following are some of the workplace activities that can cause repetitive stress injuries;
- Typing or data entry
- Lifting heavy objects
- Product assembly or packing
- Cleaning activities
- Sawing and cutting
Apart from repeated movement, fixed position activities, such as prolonged standing or sitting and grasping or gripping, can lead to repetitive stress injuries.
Common Work-related Repetitive Stress Injuries
One of the most common work-related repetitive stress injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome arises when there is excess pressure on the median nerve, a nerve that runs down the arm and through the wrist. This injury results in tingling, pain, numbness, or other symptoms in the affected hand. Employees who are most at risk of developing this injury are those who perform repetitive hand and wrist movements while at work. For example, workers in an assembly are at great risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
The following are some of the other common work-related RSIs;
- Trigger finger
- Ulnar tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Back strain
- Hearing loss
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS)
- DeQuervain’s syndrome
- Impingement syndrome
- Repetitive shoulder strain
In conclusion, you should note that, while workers who develop repetitive stress injuries are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, workers’ compensation cases involving RSIs are usually complicated. Getting an employer and their insurance company to approve an RSI claim can be challenging. That is why, if you believe you have a work-related RSI, you should retain the services of a skilled attorney. An attorney can help you prove your case and recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact a London Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have suffered a work-related repetitive stress injury in Kentucky, contact a skilled and dedicated London workers’ compensation attorney at Cessna & George Law Firm. We understand how challenging an RSI claim can be and can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case.