Repetitive strain injuries are a diverse group of conditions that cause bodily pain, usually in upper limbs. These injuries usually come about due to repeated movement over a long period of time, rather than a single incident.
When people think of workplace injuries, they often picture physical labourers. However, repetitive strain injuries can result from a wide range of workplace activities.
If you’ve developed a repetitive strain injury due to unsuitable workplace conditions, you should contact us for a consultation.
Symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injuries
There are many different kinds of repetitive strain injuries. The following are just some of the symptoms that might indicate that you have developed one;
- Pain or tenderness in muscles or joints
- Swelling or inflammation
- Throbbing sensations
It’s important to remember that the defining characteristic of a repetitive strain injury is its source, not its symptoms. As long as your condition results from the repetition of a particular movement over a period of time, it can be considered a repetitive strain injury.
Common Causes of Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive strain injuries can arise from a variety of sources. In the context of the workplace, repetitive strain injuries are commonly caused by one or more of the following;
- Physical work for long stretches without rest
- Repetitive hand movements
- Use of vibrating equipment for extended periods
It is your employer’s duty to manage these risk factors if they are a feature of your workplace. If, for example, your job involves lifting and carrying items from an assembly line, your employer is responsible for ensuring that you get frequent breaks.
When to Pursue a Claim for a Repetitive Strain Injury
If your repetitive strain injury arose because of activities in the workplace, you may be entitled to take a case against your employer.
A common problem in repetitive strain injury cases is that of causation. This is the legal concept that courts use to assign liability; unless a defendant’s actions or omissions were the cause of a plaintiff’s injuries, the defendant cannot be made to pay for them.
Causation is not as much of an issue in most workplace injury disputes, as the cause of the problem is usually obvious. If you were to slip on a patch of wet floor in the office and damage ligaments in your knee, for example, your employer could not reasonably argue that you picked up your injury somewhere else.
However, the cause of a repetitive strain injury is more difficult to diagnose. You must prove that your injury was a direct result of workplace activities to succeed with a case.
An independent medical assessment will be necessary to identify the reason(s) for your condition. It might be the case that your activities at work caused a certain percentage of your injury, with unrelated factors causing the remainder. In this situation, your employer will have to compensate you to the extent that they were at fault.
Securing Your Entitlements After a Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive strain injuries can have long-lasting repercussions for your health and leave you with ongoing medical expenses and other costs. If your employer’s failure to provide suitable working conditions has left you with a health problem, contact us today to discuss your best course of action. We are based in the South East of Ireland.