Repetitive strain injuries consist of any injuries that result from overuse of a certain body part such as your hands, knees, or even your ankles. Ailments such as tendonitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are among the most common but there are other types as well. When you have a job that requires any type of repetitive motion such as typing on a computer or working a cash register, it can result in these injuries and regardless of their severity, they can be quite painful. It is your employer’s responsibility to make sure that you work in a safe environment that all but eliminates your chances of getting these types of injuries. If you feel that your employer may not be doing all they can to prevent this from happening, you may have a legitimate legal claim against them.
The Basics of Repetitive Strain Injuries
In addition to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and tendonitis, other repetitive injuries include tennis elbow, bursitis, muscle spasms, and non-specific limb pain in areas such as your upper arm. In this country, nearly five million workdays are lost every year due to repetitive strain injuries (or RSIs) and since nearly one-third of all computer users may have some form of RSI, it is easy to understand why we need to take this condition seriously. Of course, since even things such as stress and poor posture can cause a repetitive strain injury, there are things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of suffering with this ailment and these include:
- Taking frequent breaks so that you can change the position you are in and take your eyes off the monitor for a while.
- Practicing better posture at all times.
- Sitting correctly while at the computer: place both feet flat on the floor and sit up straight.
- Placing your hands in a straight-out position instead of using wrist pads or the desktop when you’re typing.
It boils down to one recommendation: use common sense. Getting away from your desk regularly helps greatly because even one to two hours at the computer puts you at risk for an RSI. Better posture also helps, as does looking away from the computer and focusing on something else for a few seconds, because RSIs can even include damage to the eyes.
If Your RSI Is Caused by Something Else
Of course, if you believe that your employer is to blame for your injury, it might be time to consult with a lawyer. If the company you work for doesn’t allow for frequent breaks or requires that you remain at your computer for a certain length of time, this could be considered negligence, but the only way to know for sure is if you talk to an attorney. Attorneys that specialise in RSIs are experts at the law and can discuss some basic information with you so that you can decide whether or not to proceed. If they decide to represent you, your chances of a positive outcome will greatly increase so seeing one as soon as possible is always highly recommended.