Recent reports by the U.S. Commerce Department show that orders to U.S. factories increased strongly for a second straight month. This is encouraging news for the U.S. economy and manufacturing businesses, but it brings up concerns over an increase in repetitive motion or overuse injuries for Florida factory workers.
Factory Work Injuries
Many kinds of factory work can be repetitive and routine. This repetitive work can cause repetitive stress injury (RSI). A repetitive injury also may be called musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), repetitive motion disorder (RMD), cumulative trauma disorder (CTD), or occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).
RSI is caused by repeated trauma to a part of the body caused by repetitive, forceful, or awkward movements. It results in damage to the related muscles, tendons and nerves. Commonly affected parts of the body include neck, shoulder, forearm, hands and back.
Symptoms of RSI include—
– Weakness; and
– Sensitivity to heat or cold.
There are several risk factors for RSI, including:
– Poor body posture and poor ergonomic posture within the workplace;
– Poor mechanical technique in performing a job or task;
– Using a computer for more than 2-4 hours per day;
– Failure to take frequent breaks from a repetitive motion job;
– Working in a high pressure environment; and
– Having a pre-existing medical condition or body type that predisposes one to injury.
There are several common repetitive motion injuries that occur in factories. These include joint injuries such as rotator cuff tendinopathy, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It also includes neck and back injuries.
Workers’ Compensation For Repetitive Motion Or Overuse Injuries
Sometimes when people think of workers’ compensation, they think of traumatic injuries caused by a single, obvious event, such as significant falls or amputations caused by machinery.
However, workers’ compensation also is available when an injury develops over time due to repetitive motion or overuse. Workers’ compensation also is available if repetitive work conditions exacerbate a previously existing condition.
Workers’ compensation is designed to pay for an injured worker’s lost wages and medical bills. It also can pay for medical expenses and partial wage replacement after a worker returns to work.
Workers’ compensation also is a no-fault system. This means that a worker can collect workers’ compensation benefits even if he or she somehow caused or contributed to the workers’ compensation injury.
In Florida, workers’ compensation rules require a worker to report a work injury to the employer immediately when it happens. This is somewhat complicated with a repetitive motion injury because there often is no one specific identifying moment when the injury happens. However, it should be done as soon as the employee figures out that a job task is causing discomfort, pain or injury.
A worker also should seek medical treatment immediately. Don’t ignore pain; with repetitive motion injuries, it is important to tell the doctor everything related to the injury. Two helpful tools to provide your doctor include a job description and a daily symptom log.
Florida Workers’ Compensation – Work Related Injury Lawyer
If you suffered a repetitive injury on the job, it is important that you hire an experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyer. At Sternberg / Forsythe, P.A. we represent clients throughout Florida from our offices in Orlando, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach. Call us toll-free now at (561) 687-5660.