Did you know that the most common workplace injuries aren’t one-time incidents? When many people think of workplace injuries, they think of things like accidents that happen in a company vehicle, slip-and-fall types of injuries, or perhaps equipment-related accidents. While all those things are very real dangers, the most common workplace injuries are repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), commonly known as “wear and tear injuries.”
Wear and tear injuries are the result of using the same muscles or parts of your body over and over. For example, a cashier who uses her right arm scanning groceries for hours every day can easily develop shoulder, elbow, or wrist damage from the cumulative strain. When you think about it from that perspective, it’s less surprising to learn that even vocations that seem “safe,” have their own set of occupational hazards.
The following are the most common wear and tear injuries:
- carpal tunnel
- trigger finger
- back pain
- rotator cuff damage
- wrist pain
- hearing loss
People who use computers are highly susceptible to many of these conditions. Other occupations with a high risk of RSIs include healthcare workers, janitorial and housekeeping professions, clerks, delivery workers, plumbers, musicians, bus drivers, line workers, and agricultural workers.
What does all this have to do with you?
Here are two takeaways we have for you:
- If you think you might be at risk for RSIs, we encourage you to take every measure available to you to protect your body and craft healthier working conditions. This might mean requesting a standing desk or a more ergonomically designed mouse or keyboard. Perhaps you need to be more proactive about using hearing protection, a knee brace, or back support. Maybe rearranging your workspace can save you from certain types of bending or lifting. While it’s impossible to completely avoid wear and tear injuries, being aware of the risks of your profession and developing more sustainable practices can prolong your health and help manage your pain.
- If you are already beginning to experience symptoms that you believe may be connected to workplace conditions, then we want you to know that RSIs are eligible for workers’ comp. Sometimes the process of proving your claim and getting compensation can be complicated, though, and that’s why we’re here to walk alongside you and fight for you. We believe in taking care of ourselves and our families, and when you come to us, you become part of our family.