Worker's Compensation for Repetitive Stress Injuries
Regardless of our occupation or the type of work we do, many of us spend a portion of our workday performing the same types of tasks repeatedly. Whether it is stapling documents, lifting supplies or materials, or assembling products, doing the same thing over and over can put you at an increased risk for on-the-job accidents and injuries.
Injuries caused by putting repetitive stress on a body part or muscle group may start off minor but can quickly blossom into debilitating conditions that impact your ability to work in your field or to enjoy hobbies and activities in your personal life. Fortunately, if you suffer these types of injuries as the result of your job, workers’ compensation benefits may be available to provide the help you need.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
According to the National Education Association (NEA), repetitive stress injuries involve damage to the muscles, tendons, and other connective tissues that build up over a period of time as a result of performing the same types of motions or tasks on a daily basis. Common causes of repetitive stress injuries include:
- Maintaining the same body posture for long periods of time, such as leaning over a computer keyboard or standing on your feet
- Performing tasks that put stress on a particular body part or muscle group, such as bending, stretching, and lifting
- Using tools, such as those with heavy vibration or tools requiring a strong grip
- Poorly designed work areas, such as places with commonly used supplies that are kept out of reach, or poor office ergonomics
The NEA states that the most common areas of the body affected by repetitive stress injuries include the hands and arms, including tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as disc or joint problems resulting in pain in the neck, back, and shoulders.
Worker’s Compensation for Repetitive Stress Injuries
The NEA reports that repetitive stress injuries affect roughly 1.8 million workers each year in the United States, accounting for roughly 35 percent of all on-the-job injuries. Fortunately, in most cases, these injuries are covered under workers’ compensation, provided an injured worker notifies their employer as soon as they become aware of their condition. Under Section 42-15-20 of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, workers are required to report their condition within 90 days of its discovery in order to receive benefits such as paid medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for permanent disabilities.
In the case of repetitive injuries, serious, potentially disabling conditions often begin with minor pain, numbing, tingling, or weakness in the affected area. Workers experiencing any of these symptoms should notify their employer and seek medical attention immediately. Documented evidence of treatment for a repetitive stress disorder is required in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Reach Out to Us for Help
If you or someone you care about suffers an on the job injury or illness, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm. Our experienced South Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys can provide the aggressive legal representation you need to protect your rights and assist you in getting the benefits and compensation you may be entitled to by law.