What are Repetitive Stress Injuries?
Workplace injuries most often require a Maryland workers compensation lawyer. Usually when someone thinks of a workplace injury, it is associated with a single incident that is life-altering, for instance an explosion that hurts a mechanic or if a chef’s finger is severed from a kitchen knife incident. However, workplace injuries are not always caused by just an isolated and sudden event. Most injuries that occur at the workplace are developed over time from small, repetitive movements that take place on an ongoing basis. Luckily, employees who suffer from repetitive stress injuries are able to recover through workers’ compensation. If you have been injured from a repetitive stress injury, you may want to contact a Maryland workers compensation lawyer. You should seek to find a team of professionals who have years of experience in workers’ compensation cases and will help walk you through the intricacies of the varying aspects of your case.
Who is at Risk for an RSI?
In order for a repetitive stress injury (RSI) to develop, the action does not have to be physically challenging, difficult, or harmful on its own. With that being said, when one motion is repeated regularly for weeks, then months, and years, the effect can cause detrimental effects to the employee’s health. An RSI is capable of leaving an employee in regular, severe pain and not able to complete their typical job tasks and life functions.
Any Maryland workers compensation lawyer knows all too well that there has been a large increase of work-related repetitive stress injuries, which is commonly attributed to how frequently computers have been used in the workplace for the past several decades. Businesses now use computers for basically everything from preparing bills to data analysis to customer communication. Because of this, the most common type of RSI is a result of injury to the arms or hands caused from use of the computer. By employees spending their day performing the same keyboard motions again and again with little rest, their muscles, tendons, and joints could potentially become injured. Some common injuries caused by computer use are bursitis, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
However, an experienced Maryland workers compensation lawyer will tell you that employees that use computers are not the only workers at risk of an RSI. Many careers that involve physical activities, such as manufacturing or construction, require repeated reaching, use of tools, or lifting. Other common jobs for RSIs are cashiering or retail clerks that are in use of a conveyor belt. These employees commonly scan hundreds to thousands of items each shift, which involves lifting, pulling, and turning to scan barcodes easily. Butchers, drivers, mechanics, musicians, assembly line workers, and stocking shelves are all examples of other jobs that have a high potential for RSIs. A skilled Maryland workers compensation lawyer will likely point out that all of these jobs require employees to stand or sit for long periods of time or performed frequent, repeated movements of hands, arms, or fingers.
What To Do if You Have a Workplace RSI
It can be difficult to find an RSI as it is developing. The employee may not notice symptoms and it may be too late once they decide to seek medical treatment or take time off. Employees may notice pain, loss of strength, or numbness but may consider them as aging or “part of the job”. Another reason employees do not do anything about pain could be that they are afraid if they say something, they could lose their job. Any reliable Maryland workers compensation lawyer will inform you that it is very important for employees to pay attention to RSI warning signs so they can catch it early on.
These warning signs could include:
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or fingers
- Loss of coordination
- Dull or aching pain in limbs
Once an employee believes they have an RSI, they should notify their employer and make a workers’ compensation claim. It is important to make a claim as soon as the employee notices the injury.
If you have a repetitive stress injury and you have contacted your employer, you may want to speak with Maryland workers compensation lawyer to help defend and prove your case. Contact Cohen & Cohen, P.C. and we will be more than happy to set you up with a workers compensation attorney on our team.