Most people associate Workers’ Compensation benefits with injuries that arise from workplace accidents. However, there are many injuries that develop gradually from repetitive tasks that produce wear and tear on the body. These wear and tear injuries are also compensable if it can be proven that they were directly related to your occupation.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Wear and tear may be considered a repetitive stress injury. Repetitive stress injuries occur when a worker performs the same task using the same muscle groups for hours at a time, daily. Over time, the cumulative effect causes injury to the body. Examples of repetitive stress injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Lower back pain
- Plantar fasciitis
Repetitive stress injuries affect many workers across all industries. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) believes that this type of workplace injury is severely underreported. Workers most affected by repetitive stress injuries are those performing repetitive micro-movements, such as cashiers, line workers, stock clerks, and agricultural and meat processing workers. Using vibrating equipment in construction or holding awkward postures as nurses and health aides do can also contribute to the development of repetitive stress injuries. Other workers typically affected are musicians, computer programmers and office workers, plumbers and pipe fitters, delivery workers, and truck and bus drivers.
Recognizing the Signs of a Repetitive Stress Injury
A repetitive stress injury can manifest itself in different ways, but common symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, loss of strength or coordination, reduced flexibility, and reduced range of motion. The pain can range from dull aches and throbbing to severe pain that is debilitating. Recognizing the signs of such an injury is crucial so that treatment can begin. Waiting too long can make it difficult to accomplish simple daily actions, such as teeth brushing, let alone perform tasks at work.
Preventing Repetitive Stress Injuries
Employers are obligated to maintain a safe workplace to help reduce the risk of workplace accidents and injuries. Maintaining a safe workplace includes providing workers with regular breaks to prevent muscle fatigue, using ergonomically designed equipment, and rotating repetitive tasks among workers.
Compensation for Repetitive Stress Injuries
If you are suffering from a repetitive stress injury caused by your work duties, you may be eligible for compensation. You should report your injury to your employer and seek medical care immediately as waiting could make your condition worse. While repetitive stress injuries are covered by Workers’ Compensation, you will have to prove the direct relation between your injury and your occupation. Contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer who can advise you on the benefits available to you and filing a claim.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Workers with Repetitive Stress Injuries
If you believe your repetitive stress injury developed as a result of your occupation, contact the dedicated Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We will thoroughly investigate your case and fight to make sure you receive the maximum allowable benefits. Call us at 302-888-1221 today to schedule your free consultation or contact us online. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Delaware, including Dover, Newark, and Middletown.