Repetitive stress injuries—including carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis—are extremely common, can be debilitating, and are often sustained on the job. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 100 types of repetitive stress injuries may occur in the workplace. In order to obtain workers’ compensation for such an injury, however, you must be able to show that your job caused your injury.
Common Causes of Repetitive Stress Injuries in the Workplace
If any of the situations below apply to you, there is a good chance that your repetitive stress injury was sustained in the workplace. A Boston work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured on the job.
- You spend most of your day working on a computer. Sitting at a computer for hours a day may sound like an unlikely way to get injured, but it’s actually one of the most common. Performing the same movements over and over again throughout the day is the most direct route to a repetitive stress injury. Small movements that may seem benign—such as clicking your mouse, or typing and holding a desk phone between your ear and shoulder—can lead to painful, chronic conditions, many of which can make even simple tasks impossible.
- You work in construction. Any time you perform repetitive movements for weeks or months in a row, you can develop a repetitive stress injury. Tasks like swinging a hammer, digging or running a jackhammer can result in damage to tendons, joints and muscles. A MA work injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in a work-related accident.
- You stand all day or sit all day. The human body is not intended to be in the same position all day. Studies have proven that excessive sitting can cause back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as other health problems…it can even shave years off your life! Excessive standing can also wreak havoc on your body. Hips, knees and back are especially vulnerable to these problems.
- You work in retail. Cashiers and others who work in retail often stand for long periods. As stated above, this alone can lead to health problems. However, retail cashiers are particularly prone to repetitive stress injuries because of the limited but continuous motions they must make all day. Watch the cashier the next time you’re standing in line. Throughout a single shift, a cashier may have to turn, grab, lift, swipe, type and pull thousands of times.
Examples of Repetitive Stress Injuries
These injuries are among the most commonly reported causes of lost work time. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that repetitive stress injuries accounted for about 33 percent of all work injuries in 2013. The most common include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Low back injuries
- Muscle strains
How to Protect Yourself
Your employer is responsible for providing a safe work environment. Part of this requirement involves utilizing ergonomic processes in high-risk industries, such as construction, office jobs, retail and healthcare. If you are concerned that your employer is in violation of this requirement, inform a supervisor. If the supervisor is unable—or unwilling—to address your concern, you can contact OSHA, the agency tasked with establishing and enforcing workplace safety guidelines.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Work Injury Lawyers Serving Boston and the Surrounding Communities
If you have been injured or become ill on the job, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years, and our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. We will position you for the most favorable outcome and remain by your side throughout the entire process. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.