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When it comes to workplace injuries, big machinery or lifting heavy boxes often comes to mind. Just as often, though, repetitive trauma or cumulative stress injuries occur at work.
Repetitive Stress Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries can result from a single traumatic injury like a fall. Whereas repetitive and cumulative stress injuries come from overuse and doing the same motion over and over.
Any pain that results from your job duties and prevents you from performing that job is considered a workplace injury. But remember workers’ compensation benefits are determined by the laws of each state.
If you’re injured in Pennsylvania, it’s important to be aware of strict deadlines. Consult an experienced work injury attorney if you are injured on the job.
An experienced attorney can help gather evidence, report your injury, and do the necessary paperwork. This is all needed so you can get medical evaluation and treatment.
Filing a claim for workplace injuries can be challenging, especially repetitive stress injuries. They often require a lawyer’s help to make sure you receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Overuse injuries tend to start as a small ache or pain that grows into a debilitating injury if not treated. These types of injuries result from repetitive movements and awkward postures that cause stress and trauma over time.
They’re common in jobs with repetitive hand movements such as typing, assembly line work, or hairdressing. But any manual task that requires fast and repetitive movements, especially those done in fixed or awkward postures can cause cumulative stress injuries on any part of the body.
Workplace design can also cause injury. For example, if the machinery operates too quickly for comfort or tools don’t conform comfortably to the worker’s stature.
Workstations that are the wrong height, or required repeated bending, stretching, and twisting can make things worse. Even the lack of sufficient breaks or tight deadlines can aggravate repetitive stress injuries.
Common Symptoms of a Workplace Cumulative Stress Injury
Cumulative stress injuries most often affect the fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, and neck. Initially, the pain, numbness, tingling, and stiffness may be slight and only noticeable during specific work tasks. Over time, the injury leads to weakness and clumsiness. You may have trouble completing simple tasks.
Without rest or a redesigned workspace, the pain escalates until the joints, muscles, and tendons hurt all the time. If not treated, you could eventually lose full use of the affected body part.
Benefits Can be Hard to Claim
When your work environment causes a cumulative stress injury, it can be harder to provide evidence without a traumatic event. Without a visible wound or evidence tying injury to a specific event, workers may need help filing a claim.
Don’t let that deter you from claiming workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. Seek out a law firm for injured workers.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.