Repetitive Stress Injury
Repetitive Stress Injuries are one of the more common reasons for applying for workers’ compensation. In fact, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reported occupational repetitive stress injuries account for hundreds of different types of job-related injuries and illnesses that result from “wear and tear” on the human body.
Boston workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffery S. Glassman, LLC understand the cause of repetitive stress injuries is job requirements that place unnatural, repetitive stress on tendons and joints.
What is a Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI)?
RSI is defined as one of many trauma disorders often associated with repetitive tasks, overexertion, vibration, compression, and being in an awkward position for an extended period of time. Some specific RSIs involve damage to tendons, edema (swelling caused by fluid buildup), carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and trigger finger.
Common Causes of Repetitive Stress Injury:
Since the 1970s, OSHA has discovered an increase in incidents of occupational RSIs. One reason for this is due to an increase in the speed of production. Employers are constantly worried about increasing profits from one financial quarter to the next to show shareholders’ growth is occurring. Today, workers are required to perform repetitive tasks at a higher rate than ever before.
While some of the production process has become automated, there are still many repetitive tasks being performed at faster rates than in previous years. There has also been an increase in workplace surveillance to make sure workers are not taking frequent breaks that slow production. This need for companies to increase profits has led to many more incidents of occupational repetitive stress injuries.
Another cause of increased stress injuries in the modern work environment is known as “intensive keying.” Office workers are required to sit at computers in a less than ergonomic position for hours at a time and enter keystrokes over and over again. This repetitive keying results in repetitive stress disorder in the occupational setting.
One of the most important things you can do if you are suffering from a repetitive stress disorder is to report it to your employer as soon as possible. Proving that RSI was caused by your occupation is often one of the most crucial elements in any workers’ compensation case.
You should also contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as early in the process as possible to maximize your chances of obtaining a full and appropriate workers’ compensation benefits award.
Your attorney will be able to review your medical history along with your doctor, prepare your medical benefits package, and negotiate with your employer’s insurance company, so that you can concentrate on your occupational therapy and hopefully improve your condition.
While many are hesitant to file a claim for workers’ compensation for a repetitive stress injury out of fear of retaliation from employers, the law not only provides for benefits for RSIs, but also makes it illegal for your employer to retaliate for filing a claim. In the rare event that your employer does retaliate, your Boston workers’ compensation attorney may be able to assist you with collecting additional damages.
If you are injured on the job in Massachusetts, call the Attorney Injury Group for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim: 617-934-7000.