Recovering Workers’ Compensation for Repetitive Stress Injuries
Florida’s Workers’ Compensation laws are designed to ensure workers receive medical treatment for injuries sustained in the course of their job. When most people think about job-related injuries, they think of slips and falls, injuries caused by machinery, vehicle accidents, electrocutions, and other workplace accidents. However, there is another type of work injury that is covered by workers’ compensation — diseases caused by a repetitive stress injury.
What is Repetitive Stress Injury?
According to the National Education Association (NEA), a repetitive stress injury (RSI) is “damage to body tissues, muscles, tendons, spinal discs, blood vessels, and nerves—caused by repeated physical stresses.”
Some types of jobs require the employee to repeat the same motions or activities each day to complete their job. Over a long period of time, repetitive motions can begin to cause pain in the area where the tendon, nerves, and muscles are being used to perform the motion. For example, a postal service delivery person who repeatedly reaches his or her arm out of the car window, open the mailbox, put the mail inside the box, close the box, and return his hand to the steering wheel may begin to feel pain, cramping, tingling sensations, and stiffness along his neck, shoulder, arm, and hand.
The symptoms of a repetitive stress injury may take years to present; however, if any of the following situations apply to your job, you may be at a higher risk for developing disease from a repetitive stress injury:
- Repeating the same motions hundreds of times a day or week without giving your body a chance to recover;
- Working in an awkward or stressful posture without taking breaks to move your body into another position;
- Frequent and heavy lifting;
- Repeated forceful movements that use your full strength, even in small movements;
- Poorly designed work spaces and/or poorly designed work tools; and,
- The speed you are required to maintain as you repeat the motions in order to satisfy your employer.
Common Types of Repetitive Stress Injuries We See
The majority of repetitive stress injuries are in the extremities, back, and neck. They include carpel tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, neurovascular disorders, never disorders, rotator cuff tendonitis, ruptured discs, herniated discs, and other back injuries. This not an exhaustive list of diseases that can result from repetitive stress injuries; therefore, we encourage you to consult with our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys if you believe you have been injured at work.
Other Workplace Illnesses and Diseases
In addition to physical injuries from repetitive motions, an employee may also become ill from being exposed to certain conditions. For example, a worker inhales dust contaminated with pesticides from working in strawberry fields each day. This person could develop asthma or other respiratory diseases. The same could be said of the housekeeping staff in hotels that use harsh chemicals to clean rooms exposing the staff to these fumes for over eight hours each day.
Illness developed due to repetitive stress injuries may also be compensable under a Florida workers’ compensation claim.
Gradual Onset of Repetitive Stress Injuries
If you or a loved one has developed an illness or medical condition you believe is due to the type of work you perform, you need to consult with the Boca Raton workers’ compensation attorneys of The Broderick Law Firm, P.L. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals just like you who have been injured at work and who are seeking what is fairly and justly their compensation for their injuries. You must act quickly — do not assume that persistent pain or illness is just bad luck. It could be an indication of the onset of something much worse to the gradual assault on your body by repetitive work.
Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.