Many workers are in danger of repetitive motion injuries each day. When performing tasks over and over, the same muscles are strained. Over time, this repetitive use causes cumulative damage. Workers who have experienced this type of injury may wonder if they are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. While not impossible, it is difficult to prove that these injuries only occurred as a result of work-related activity. Consider these three things about repetitive motion injuries and workers’ compensation.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and arthritis are common repetitive motion injuries. Workers in all industries can be subject to these types of injuries. The injuries are much more likely to occur if the worker is not given ample time to stretch or rest during the day. Some workers do not have all the equipment they need to avoid these types of injuries, and that can be a major factor in their development. For example, workers who spend all day at a computer may not have ergonomic wrist rests for their keyboards.
Workers’ compensation does cover some repetitive motion injuries. However, the worker must be able to prove that the injury occurred as a direct result of his or her work activity. This is one of the most difficult barriers to overcome. For example, a worker may make a claim regarding carpal tunnel syndrome due to using a computer all day at work. But, he or she may have difficulty proving the claim if he or she also uses a computer regularly at home.
As with any workers’ compensation claim, the injury should be reported to a person’s employer or immediate supervisor. The employee may be directed to the human resources department as well. The worker will need to provide medical documentation of the injury. The employer will then file the claim with his or her workers’ compensation insurance firm. An employee should file this type of claim as soon as the injury is diagnosed for the best outcome.
A repetitive motion injury can cause difficulty in every area of a person’s life. Workers’ compensation is in place to help employees receive benefits for injuries sustained on the job. If you feel that your RMI was caused by your job, it is worth looking into filing a claim. Consider meeting with a workers’ comp lawyer, like Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy, LLP, for advice about your rights in this situation.