Worker’s Compensation for Repetitive Injuries at Work
Worker’s compensation encompasses much more than singular, life-altering accidents: worker’s compensation can be given for repetitive stress injuries, or RSI’s. Here, Mr.Scholnick explain what RSI’s are, and how the worker’s compensation process works.
Repetitive stress injuries are caused by small movements that build up over time to cause serious pain or injury. Compared to singular work-related accidents and injuries, RSI’s are far more insidious: they can take months or even years to develop, and symptoms may not appear until the damage has long begun. RSI’s can make working extremely difficult, and can hamper a worker when seeking new employment. One of the most common is carpal tunnel, which causes nerve pain due to swelling of tissues in the wrist. This can happen in many different industries, but most often to those who type on the computer daily or working with motorized equipment. Any repetitive movement can turn into an RSI.
RSI’s can be prevented through various accommodations. Individualized work stations that adjust for height can be used to relieve neck, back, or arm and wrist strain, and taking frequent short breaks plus stretching can help relieve soreness or stiffness caused by repetitive motion. Unfortunately, an RSI can still be inevitable in certain fields, and it is important to get them treated the moment pain is felt. Waiting too long can cause serious damage to your body, and could keep you out of work for longer periods of time. Symptoms to look for include dull pain or aches in limbs, fatigue, weakness, loss of coordination, or tingling and numbness in arms, wrists, or fingers. It is important to take note of what activities were being completed or had just been completed when the pain began. Relaying this information to your doctor can help them determine what is causing the pain, and how to relieve it. Having a doctor’s testimony can be vital to receiving worker’s compensation.
If you believe you are suffering from an RSI, notifying your employer in a timely manner is important, so you can begin the worker’s compensation procedure as quickly as possible. Many states also have a worker’s comp time-table, so filing your claim sooner rather than later is advisable, and may make the claim easier to prove. As mentioned above, you may need doctor’s testimony in order to confirm to the court or worker’s compensation commission that cumulative damage has occurred to cause the injury. In some cases, direct causal links must be made to connect the injury with activities performed at work. It is illegal for an employer to fire or otherwise punish an employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim, so rest assured knowing that you can receive due payment without threat of termination or disciplinary action.
RSI’s are attributed to one third of all time away from work. They are a serious issue, and you deserve compensation to cover medical treatment, surgery, and time away from the job. If you believe you have an RSI, we strongly advise you to file for worker’s compensation with the help of a skilled worker’s compensation attorney. For more information, go to www.scholnicklaw.com.
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