When you think of an injury that occurs in the workplace, a repetitive stress injury is probably the last thing you picture. However, these injuries are incredibly common across all types of occupations.
If you think you have experienced a repetitive stress injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical treatment and other expenses. If you are overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin, reaching out to a New York City repetitive stress injury lawyer at Shulman & Hill could be a huge help. Contact our personal injury attorneys today for a free legal consultation to learn more.
What is a Repetitive Stress Injury?
A repetitive stress injury is an injury that occurs when too much stress is placed on the body. These injuries can cause muscle strain, tissue damage, hearing and vision loss, and painful inflammation. This type of stress usually presents itself due to the repetition of awkward movements over the course of an extended period of time.
A common example of a repetitive stress injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a condition caused by extended pressure on the median nerve. This can result in numbness, tingling, and weakness of the hand. This is often associated with using a keyboard for long periods of time for work. However, it can also be caused by a variety of other repetitive tasks as well.
Main Causes of Repetitive Stress Injuries
Any occupation or job site that requires continuous movement can cause repetitive stress injuries. Some activities that can cause strain to muscles and tissue include lifting patients in a hospital or nursing home setting, jackhammering and using other power tools on a construction site, or even landscaping activities and window washing. All of these activities require constant bending, reaching, over-exertion in awkward positions, and continuous stress on the body.
There are some occupations that are more high-risk for injuries than others. Some of these include nurses and health care aids, stock clerks at grocery stores, plumbers and pipefitters, firefighters, professional athletes, and those who use the keyboard regularly.
Employers should be aware of the many possible injuries that workers can sustain while they are on the job. Workers should be provided with training and adequate gear to handle the job safely and effectively.
What to Do if You Have a Repetitive Stress Injury in New York City
It is important to pay attention to your body to try to catch any signs and symptoms of repetitive stress injuries as soon as possible. If you catch these issues early on, they can be addressed before they begin to get worse. You will also want to report any symptoms that you believe are work-related to your employer as soon as possible.
In addition to letting your employer know about symptoms related to a workplace injury, you should also see your doctor immediately to seek medical treatment. It is important to have your doctor provide a written report for your visit. Although this may seem like a minute detail, creating a paper trail can be absolutely crucial when dealing with injuries that exacerbate over time.
If possible, you should go to the doctor immediately because waiting could make it more difficult to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Your doctor will need to know the specifics of what you were doing in the workplace that led to the symptoms. Any details you can provide can give your doctor a better idea of what treatment would be best for you.
Your doctor may say you need to take some time off of work for a while or work a reduced schedule so your body can heal after the repetitive stress injury. They may also recommend time limits for certain tasks that may exacerbate your injury.
How to Prevent a Repetitive Stress Injury
It is crucial to know how to prevent injuries in the workplace. There are many tips and tricks to help you retain an ergonomic workspace designed to help you remain comfortable and prevent stress to the body during your daily work activities.
If you are someone who frequently sits at a desk during the day, there are some changes you can make to your desk area that can help prevent repetitive stress injuries. One of these changes is taking breaks throughout the day to stand up and move around. If you have a standing desk of an appropriate height for you, this can help you remain productive while doing so. When you return to a seated position, it is also healthier not to sit with your legs crossed. The most ergonomic position for your body is to sit with your feet flat on the floor.
If you are working in a job where you complete manual labor tasks on a daily basis, you will want to make sure that you are using proper lifting form when lifting heavy objects. This includes keeping your back straight and bending your legs so that when you lift, you are using the power of your legs rather than your back. Not using proper form in these situations can cause excessive strain on your body and lead to serious injury as time progresses.
Why Choose Shulman & Hill?
Shulman & Hill is a premier workers’ compensation law firm in the state of New York. We know that every case matters and we know that a workplace injury can be detrimental. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys truly care and will work hard to offer you expert legal advice throughout the full extent of the claims process. Give us a call at 212-221-1000 or schedule a free consultation online.