When you think about serious job-related injuries, what comes to mind? Transportation accidents? Trips and falls? Fires and explosions? While all of those do occur, one of the most common causes of workplace injury is much less dramatic: repetitive movement.
Simply performing the same task over and over can result in damaged nerves, tendons, muscles, and joints. And the impact on the U.S. workforce is considerable. Injuries caused by repetitive motions cost employers an estimated $20 billion annually in workers’ compensation.
Types of Repetitive Movement Injuries at Work
Repetitive movement injuries are part of the larger category of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Sometimes called “ergonomic injuries,” MSDs account for nearly 70 million doctor visits annually. The physical damage caused by repetitive action is known by many names, including the following:
- Repetitive movement injury
- Repetitive motion injury
- Repetitive motion disorder (RMD)
- Repetitive use injury
- Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
- Repetitive stress injury
- Cumulative trauma disorder (CTD)
Whatever the name, repetitive stress injuries can cause substantial physical harm. Because they are associated with movement, RSIs often affect the joints. Cumulative trauma can also damage the nerves, sometimes permanently. Common repetitive movement disorders include the following:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome–Numbness and tingling of the hand caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist
- Tendonitis–An uncomfortable inflammation of the tendon, commonly in the shoulder, biceps, or elbow
- Bursitis–A type of inflammation that often causes pain and stiffness around the joints, such as the elbow, knee, or hip
Jobs Most at Risk for Repetitive Motion Injuries
Workers in all fields can experience repetitive strain injuries. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome–one of the most common RSIs–can affect anyone who uses a computer. However, some occupations are more vulnerable than others.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, three industries account for half of all musculoskeletal disorders in the private sector: healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing. Transportation and warehousing also have a large number of cases, followed by construction and wholesale trade.
The specific occupations with the most work-related MSDs are the following:
- Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
- Nursing assistants
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- Store clerks and order fillers
Workers’ Compensation for Repetitive Movement Injuries
If you’ve suffered a repetitive motion injury on the job in Massachusetts, you likely qualify for workers’ compensation. But receiving the compensation you deserve is not always easy or straightforward. Because repetitive strain happens gradually–and is often not visible–you will need to provide substantial proof that you have a work-related injury.
Repetitive Motion Injury Lawyers in Massachusetts
A skilled Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney will help protect your rights. At Altman & Altman LLP, we have 50 years of experience representing employees hurt on the job. If your repetitive motion workers’ compensation claim was denied or disputed, or if you want someone on your side before you file, contact us today.
Our team of Boston work injury lawyers is ready to help you seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, disability, and more. Call us 24/7 at 617.492.3000 or contact us online for a free consultation.