From experience it seems repetitive strain injury claims (RSI) are becoming more common. Repetitive strain injury claims are also called work related upper limb disorders which in basic terms are injuries to the muscles, tendons and nerves of the arms or upper back. Many of these injuries stem from a person having to keep the muscles of their arms or their upper back tensed while performing a task. Poor posture also plays a key role in repetitive injuries of this nature.
In the early stages repetitive injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome are nuisances that cause pain to the person that has them. Over time the injuries can become worse and finally it could take surgical intervention to repair the damages done by the repetitive injuries.
Common Types of Repetitive Strain Injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
This is associated with pain and weakness of the hand or forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually caused by hand movements that are highly repetitive like typing, or anything that requires you to grasp things with your hands repeatedly. Factory line workers and typist often develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Trigger Finger
This syndrome affects the fingers and when you straighten them out they reflex back like the trigger mechanism of a gun does. This condition can be very painful, and may require surgery to treat effectively.
How can an Employer stop repetitive strain claims?
An employer that is asking an employee to work using repetitive motions can help to reduce the employee from being injured by:
- Offering training that shows the employee how to use proper posture and alignment to keep from creating muscle strain while they are working.
- Can provide tools like braces, and keyboards that provide less strain so people who have to use them constantly can have fewer repetitive injury complaints.
Laws that apply to repetitive strain claims
The Health and Safety (Display Screen) Regulation of 1992 says that every employer will provide suitable training for all employees on all equipment. This law requires employers to make sure that employees are given regularly scheduled break periods so they can move their arms, and legs, in different ways, and relieve some of the strain they are under during their work day. These breaks can also include a change of activities the employee is engaged in.
Manual handling regulations apply to anyone filing repetitive strain injury claims.
What to do if you are suffering from repetitive strain injuries
You should talk to your supervisor/ manager at work and tell them about the injuries you are sustaining. You have to report any injury on the job to the employer and provide them with a reasonable opportunity to correct the problem before you can file a personal injury claim against them.
After a reasonable amount of time you should think about contacting a solicitor that is experienced in handling repetitive injury claims and ask for their advice. I say advice because the first visit with a solicitor is a meet and greet. You go to their offices and you see if you like the solicitor, and if you think the solicitor is right for your situation.
The solicitor hears your case and decides if they want to take the case or not. If a solicitor takes the time to hear your case details then they will offer advice on whether they believe you should file a repetitive strain injury claim or if they think you should not file.
The consultation visit with a solicitor on a personal injury case is usually free of charge. You might even find that the solicitor offers to represent you in the matter and to not charge you any fees unless they win a monetary compensation for you. These offers are made by solicitors when they are confident they can win a case and be what you would know as no win no fee explained here.
Listen to the advice of the solicitor and follow the advice to the letter. You want to make sure that you do nothing that could impede or disrupt your case. If the solicitor tells you it is best to keep your job then by all means keep the job, but if they recommend that you quit because of the injuries you are suffering then listen to them. The solicitor has your best interest at heart and they are not as close to the problem so they can see the consequences of some actions more clearly than you might be able to.