Workers' comp is a great benefit to hurt workers; it allows them time to recuperate before returning to their jobs. Not all work-related accidents and injuries are the result of a single occurrence, however. Some workers experience damage that takes more time to reveal itself. One of these kinds of injuries is repetitive strain injuries. Read on to learn more.
The Nature of the Work
Some jobs just seem to require the worker to repeat actions over and over, which can set the situation up for a repetitive strain injury. Assembly line workers are naturally at risk due to having to complete repeated movements, as are sewing machine operators, anyone who works at a computer keyboard and even professional drivers like truckers or taxi drivers. There is almost no profession that doesn't include some form of repetitive movement. When an action is repeated so often, and for a length of time, the area around the affected joints and body parts begin to show signs of distress.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This may be the most well-known type of repetitive strain injury. If you use your wrists and hands for your job, you might be at risk. There is a narrow opening filled with nerves in the wrist that can become inflamed with too much use. Wrists may not have been designed to type on keyboards or sew seams all day, and sometimes it takes a surgery to alleviate the pain. It is not very likely, however, that you will be able to go back to doing the same type of work again.
This is an inflammation of the bursa, an area of the joint and it can be characterized by the audible popping and crunching sounds when the joint is in motion. Tenderness, pain, and swelling will often accompany the sounds, and the most often-affected joints are the elbows and knees. If you have to ride a forklift and maneuver gears constantly, you may end up being affected by bursitis.
This is a common condition that affects the tendons and can result in pain and numbness. Eventually, the sufferers are made immobile by the pain and swelling. Almost any job can affect this joint-muscle connector, including those who lift heavy objects and those who use vibrating equipment repeatedly.
Workers' Compensation Coverage
Fortunately, you are covered by your workers' comp insurance plan for repetitive strain injuries. While it may be too late to reverse the damage, you should act right away and take the following steps to ensure that your claim is approved:
1. Seek medical care.
2. Inform your supervisor about the injury.
3. See that a workers' comp claim is filed for your case.
4. Follow all doctors orders, which will likely involve a total work stoppage and immobilize the affected area. You will be paid a portion of your usual pay while you are undergoing treatment.
5. If you have any problems getting your claim approved, speak to your preferred workers' compensation lawyers as soon as possible.