Repetitive Strain Injuries are a symptom of modern life and were all but unheard of before people spent their days sat at desks for hours on end. Caused by physically repeating the same actions regularly and over an extended period of time, RSIs can have a profoundly negative effect on the lives of those who are unfortunate enough to suffer from them. What’s worse is that RSIs are by no means the ‘end result’ and if they are ignored or not properly addressed in a timely fashion they can develop into long-term ailments which will impact on every aspect of an individual’s life.
One of the things which make RSIs so irritating is the knowledge that with the right equipment and a little bit of training they are quite easily prevented; the issue lies in the fact that their underlying causes are seemingly small and insignificant. This mind set leads to a lot of people ignoring their symptoms, thinking that they will go away on their own, or that by making a fuss they will appear petty; what they forget is that anything, even a good thing, can become destructive if taken to excess.
A medical examination by a doctor is needed to diagnose an RSI. The doctor will carry out a physical examination as well as asking questions regarding the repetitive motions that are thought to have caused the injury, what exactly tends to cause the pain and when is it most likely to occur. There are two main types of repetitive strain injury:
RSI Type 1: This is a musculoskeletal complaint and often inflammation and swelling of particular muscles and tendons occur. Type 1 is clearly diagnosed as a particular complaint such as carpal tunnel syndrome, white vibration finger or tendonitis.
RSI Type 2: This has a whole range of causes and is often connected to damage of the nerves. There are usually no extra symptoms with RSI type 2, just discomfort and pain. Type 2 can sometimes be referred to as non-specific pain syndrome and isn’t quite diagnosed as clearly as type 1.
Employers have a duty of care to try to prevent anyone in their workforce from developing a repetitive strain injury. They must follow the protocol set out in the Health and Safety at Work act and carry out risk assessments for use of equipment or any task that could cause an injury. Work areas need to be assessed as well to ensure they are a safe environment to work in and any issues need to be addressed immediately until they are satisfactory. For areas such as computer work stations, employers have a legal obligation to ensure they are set up in accordance to the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations.
In order to lower the risk of repetitive strain injuries, employers should consult with employees regarding any potential risks that may arise from their work. Policies and underlying procedures must be set in place for certain activities and also any relevant training in place in order to lower the risk of injury. Responsible employers are expected to be supportive to anyone who is returning to work after suffering a repetitive strain injury and act upon their duty of care to their employees to prevent the condition from worsening.
It is also the employer’s responsibility to recognise that if one person begins to develop repetitive strain injury symptoms, then others who may be carrying out the same duty at work, could also be at risk of getting an injury too and so should act accordingly to eliminate any exposure to the risks of the condition.
If employers fail to take all possible steps to ensure a safe working environment and don’t act to their best ability to eliminate as much as possible the risks of injury, then according to RSI at work rights of the employees, the employers may be sued for negligence. Repetitive strain injury compensation claims are on the rise and more and more cases are being won.
It is also possible to claim against your employer if developing an RSI whilst under their employment is affecting a pre-existing condition. Your employer has a legal obligation to ensure your health and safety whilst in their employment and so could be liable if they are found to have been negligent in their duty of care and safety responsibility to their staff.
There are RSI claim calculators to be found online that you could use but these are only estimated amounts and so will not be accurate. One person’s injury can differ a great deal to another’s in its severity and the affect it has on one person’s life. The actual cause of the injury, duration and working conditions will also have an impact on the claimant’s case which again can be different from one person to the next.
The bottom line is, each claimant’s case has individual circumstances that will determine the repetitive strain injury compensation claims amount they are awarded. It would be best to contact a trusted specialist personal injury claims solicitors such as Legal Expert to discuss your potential claim in more detail.
Remember, each case is unique, so contact HURT-511 for more information on workers’ comp statute and our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.
HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.