Repetitive Strain Injuries Are Serious Workplace Hazards
Repetitive-motion injuries are among the leading causes of missed time from work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, repetitive motion, including holding tools, scanning groceries, and typing, caused the long absences from work injuries in 2015. The median absence from work as a result of such injuries was 22 days. Work-related repetitive motion injuries are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time. The BLS found that in 2013, such injuries accounted for a third of all worker injury and illness cases.
What Are Repetitive-Motion Injuries?
Repetitive-motion or repetitive-strain injuries are also known as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) and cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs). Whatever you call them, the injuries come from performing the same motions for hours at a time, day after day, leading to small injuries in your wrists, fingers, hands, elbows, back, shoulders, or knees—typically arising from jobs that require an employee to perform the same task repeatedly all day long. The individual injuries are too small to notice at first, but they build up during time, hence the designation as cumulative trauma disorders. It can take months or years for such injuries to become apparent. However, they can debilitate you.
According to the federal government, RSIs often take the form of musculoskeletal disorders, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries (in the shoulder)
- Epicondylitis (in the elbow)
- Muscle strains and lower back injuries
Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries
Often, the problem isn’t with the task itself or the tool used, but rather with how you perform the task. Inefficient or unnecessary lifting, bending, wrist motions, and reaching for overhead objects can contribute to RSIs. This can result from poor training or poorly designed work areas.
- Providing proper training so employees can perform their jobs in safe ways that take ergonomics into account—fitting processes to job performance in ways that are safest for employees.
- Constantly reassessing workplace processes to ensure that employees preform tasks in ways that minimize the potential for repetitive-motion injuries.
- Encouraging early reporting of muscular-skeletal injury symptoms. This can improve the job assessment process and prevent or slow the development of RSIs and work injury claims.
- Implementing solutions. Employers should constantly look out for ways to reduce or eliminate workplace musculoskeletal disorders resulting from repetitive motion injuries.
If You Have a Work-Related Repetitive-Motion Injury in the Atlanta Area, Call Hasner Law to Discuss Your Options
If you suffer a repetitive-motion injury at work in the Atlanta area, safeguard your rights and explore your compensation options. Take advantage of a free case evaluation to determine if an attorney can help maximize your compensation for your injuries. The workers’ comp attorneys at Hasner Law can help. Contact us at (678) 888-HURT (4878) or through our online contact form.