There’s no way to avoid the fact that you might sustain an occupational injury at some point in your career. Some of these might result from sudden accidents, but others might develop through years of doing a certain activity day after day. These slow-developing injuries are often termed repetitive motion injuries. They can still be very harmful, however, which is why they will often qualify the employee for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation provides an injured party with financial support following on-the-job injuries, and most employers are obligated by law to carry this coverage. Let’s take a closer look at how this benefit works for repetitive motion injuries.
What Are Repetitive Injuries in the Workplace?
Most people do a lot of the same things at work each day. Over time, this will begin to affect the body, sometimes in very negative ways. Generally, repetitive motion injuries occur when the muscles, tendons, and other body parts suffer significant damage as a result of performing the same action many times. Indeed, almost any part of the body is at risk of a repetitive motion injury.
Some common examples of repetitive motion injuries include:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Lower back pain
Rotator cuff syndrome
Trigger finger syndrome
It’s important to recognize that almost any employee can suffer these injuries, regardless of their job function. Still, some occupations pose higher injury risks than others. Common sufferers of repetitive motion injury victims include:
Health care workers
Indicators of repetitive motion injuries might include tingling, pain, tenderness, or numbness in affected areas, to name a few. More severe ramifications might also result.
To keep these injury risks as contained as possible, it’s important to identify where they exist. Only at this point is it possible to work to minimize these hazards as best you can.
Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries
While it’s very hard to prevent repetitive motion injuries altogether, you still have the chance to minimize the liability through several practical steps:
Monitor employees as they work, and if they seem to be straining, this indicates they are likely at risk of an injury.
Ensure employees take breaks from repetitive tasks. Just turning away for a few minutes each hour can help minimize the risk of putting too much strain on themselves.
Don’t limit employees to only doing a single task. You want them to engage in various tasks. This can help to reduce the risk that they are performing the same task time and time again.
Educating your employees about the best practices for avoiding injury is also important. It can help you teach them to know exactly what to do to keep themselves safe. Yes, workers’ comp insurance will be there to help them if they do get hurt, but you don’t want this to be a significant risk in the first place.