When you tell someone you are off work due to a repetitive strain injury (RSI), you might feel they look at you oddly, as if examining you for signs of proof. When you first talked about needing workers’ compensation and time off, they probably assumed you fell from a roof or amputated a limb in a machine accident. Yet, for many Americans, the truth is somewhat less dramatic.
How common are repetitive strain injuries?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), RSIs affect around 1.8 million workers every year. They cost the nation almost $20 billion per year.
Who is at risk from repetitive strain injuries?
Typing at computer keyboards is one of the most common reasons for RSIs. Some reports suggest over half of office workers complain of RSIs. Other frequent sufferers include professional athletes, especially tennis or baseball players, or golfers who exert a significant force on their wrist. People who work with vibrating tools in construction get RSIs. So do those who repeat the same movements week in, week out on a factory line. Anyone required to carry out the same motions repeatedly as part of their job is at risk.
Is repetition the only factor?
Vibration, force, cold, stress and heavy loads can increase the risk of an RSI.
Are all RSIs the same?
Medical professionals recognize several different types of RSI. These include:
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff syndrome
- Raynaud’s disease
Can I claim workers’ compensation insurance for an RSI?
Repetitive strain injuries can make it impossible to work. They may require time off to recover, or they could require surgery or require you to change your job. As with any other injury suffered at work, you should be able to claim workers’ compensation insurance.