Many Repetitive Motion Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Compensation
When workers perform the same tasks day in and day out for hours at a time, they can develop repetitive stress injuries from overusing the same muscle groups. Those who use vibrating equipment, poorly designed equipment, or work in a poorly designed work environment are also at risk for repetitive stress injuries.
Repetitive stress injuries can be just as painful and debilitating as injuries caused by a work accident. Sometimes these chronic conditions begin as a minor inconvenience with sporadic symptoms; but they can develop into painful conditions that make it difficult to complete the most mundane tasks such as brushing your teeth or tying your shoes.
Unfortunately, some employers may try to avoid paying Workers’ Compensation benefits for repetitive stress injuries. However, as long as you can prove that your condition is directly related to your work, you should be eligible for compensation. Consult with an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer if you are considering filing a claim for benefits.
Types of Repetitive Stress Injuries
The following are common work-related repetitive stress injuries:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)
- Lower back pain from degenerative disc disease
- Knee injuries
- Rotator cuff injuries
Common Symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injuries
Workers may not readily identify a physical problem as a repetitive stress injury. Therefore, it is important to know the symptoms that may present as the injury progresses. Symptoms can vary but may include some or all of the following:
- Soreness or redness
- Pain, from mild to acute
- Weakness or fatigue
- Loss of motion or flexibility
Workers Affected by Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries are extremely common and account for roughly one-third of all Workers’ Compensation claims. They affect workers across all industries including:
- Healthcare workers
- Manufacturing and assembly line employees
- Postal workers
- Meat industry employees
- Sewing industry workers such as machine operators, tailors, and seamstresses
- Agriculture workers
- Construction workers
- Baggage handlers
- Truck and bus drivers
- Office workers and anyone who uses a computer regularly
Preventing Repetitive Stress Injuries
Like most work injuries, those caused by repetitive motion are preventable. Simple ways to avoid the stress injuries include rotating tasks so that workers have a chance to use different muscle groups. Taking frequent breaks to stretch and move is also important. When employers limit break time and increase the speed at which workers are to accomplish tasks, the risk of injury increases substantially.
Ergonomics, or the design of the workplace and tools being used, is also a major factor in injury rates. A well-designed workplace can eliminate much of the risk for workers, while an environment that requires workers to use awkward or extended postures to complete their tasks increases the likelihood for developing a work injury.
Compensation for Repetitive Stress Injuries
If you suspect you have a repetitive stress injury, you should report it right away to your employer and see a doctor. Be sure to describe the task you were doing that caused your injury and when and where it occurred. A claim for repetitive stress injury can require extensive medical documentation to verify that it is work-related.
While you are not required to use an attorney to file a claim, working with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer familiar with repetitive stress injuries can make a big difference and relieve you of the stress of dealing with the process. A successful claim can result in benefits for some or all of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Disability – temporary or permanent
- Vocational counseling or training if necessary
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Pursue Compensation for Workers Suffering With a Repetitive Stress Injury
At McCann & Wall, LLC, we have been helping injured workers for over 15 years. If you have a repetitive stress injury caused by your job you may be eligible for compensation. Call 302-888-1221 today to speak with a skilled Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your case or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. From our offices in Wilmington, we assist injured workers throughout the state of Delaware, including those in Dover, Newark, and Middletown.