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Repetitive Stress Injuries in the Workplace

by Andrew Mounier on February 1, 2013

Repetitive stress injuries, which are also commonly known as repetitive stress disorders, are a growing concern in many different workplaces. In fact, repetitive stress injuries account for over 60 percent of all job-related injuries in the USA, and 1 in 8 individuals will suffer from some kind of repetitive stress injury in their lifetime. What causes these injuries? How can you know if you have one? Are they covered by worker’s insurance? Below you can find the answers to these questions.  To learn more about types of repetitive stress injuries click here.

Jobs That Can Result in Repetitive Stress Injuries

The increase in computers in the workplace is largely responsible for the increase in repetitive stress injuries, but jobs that involve typing at a keyboard and entering data are not the only jobs that could result in a repetitive stress injury. Any job that requires a repeated movement over a long period of time can result in trauma. For example, working as part of an assembly line, polishing, writing, playing musical instruments, repeatedly bending or lifting, and painting can all result in repetitive stress injuries. You’re not immune just because you don’t sit at a computer all day; nurses, mechanics and massage therapists are also at risk.

Warning Signs That You Might Have a Repetitive Stress Injury

There are a few common symptoms of repetitive stress injuries. Commonly, individuals will feel pain in a certain area, such as the wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck or back. Tingling and numbness is also associated with these injuries, as is fatigue and weakness.

Common Kinds of Repetitive Stress Injuries

A very common repetitive stress injury that can be caused by many of the jobs mentioned above is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is a condition where swelling occurs in the tunnel created by the bone and ligament. In addition to causing pain, the swelling can also put pressure on nerves, which results in tingling and numbness. Other common injuries include tendinitis and myofascial damage, both of which cause tenderness, inflammation and swelling from overwork.

It’s not just extremities, like the hands and wrists, which can suffer from a repetitive stress injury. Repeatedly lifting incorrectly can result in compressed disks in the back, which are also very painful.

How to Prevent These Injuries

Even though repetitive stress injuries are covered under worker’s compensation insurance, they can be difficult to prove. Because of this, it is easier to learn how to prevent these injuries and be safe in the workplace. In order to avoid these injuries occurring in the first place, offices should be sure that proper ergonomics are available, such as chairs that properly support the back and wrist supports for typists. Employers should also strongly consider training their employees on how to stay safe in the workplace, which could include teaching them how to lift with their legs, how to type in a neutral position, or how to maintain good posture. Encouraging frequent breaks can also help keep repetitive stress injuries at bay.

Repetitive stress injuries can be painful and long lasting, so it is imperative that the proper precautions are taken in all workplaces to keep employees safe. Repetitive stress injuries can happen to anyone who repeats an action during the day, regardless of whether that person works as a typist, nurse or painter.

Even though repetitive stress injuries can be hard to prove, it is still important to seek legal advice if you think your injury was caused by the physical demands of your job.  Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. is a repetitive stress injury and workers’ compensation law firm located in Massachusetts.  For more information about workers’ compensation or repetitive stress injuries, visit the website at www.kantrovitzlaw.com.

Andrew Mounier
Andrew Miller (Mounier) is an experienced Content Engineer and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also an avid legal blogger and currently working on a book with his wife about social entrepreneurship. He is a true Socialpreneur and finds that his goal in life is to be an agent for positive social change through both his writing and business endeavors.
Andrew Mounier
Andrew Mounier

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