Quite a few people mistakenly presume that workers’ compensation benefits are only available after a reported workplace accident, such as where a customer suddenly turns violent or a piece of machinery malfunctions, leaving a worker with serious injuries.
While it is certainly true that dramatic workplace accidents often lead to straightforward workers’ compensation claims, that doesn’t mean that only those who suffer a traumatic injury on the job can claim benefits.
Workers’ compensation insurance also protects those who develop an occupational illness as a result of doing a job. The broad category of occupational illnesses could include a repetitive motion or repetitive stress injury.
What are repetitive motion injuries?
If you work in a factory setting, you may have to grab, move and turn items the same way over and over for your shift. If you work in an office setting, you may have to type for hours at a time. Cooks may have to grip knives and handle heavy pans, which can put pressure on their forearms and wrists. Those who have to lift me develop repetitive motion injuries in their hips, knees or lower back.
Any task that you have to report perform over and over without a break at work can cause damage over time to your muscles, joints, connective tissue and even your bones. The longer you do the same task, the greater the potential for it causing painful damage to your body.
If you don’t take breaks and change your work duties occasionally, eventually, you may experience pain that makes working difficult. If left untreated, the condition could progress to a point where you will not regain full strength and range of motion and may have to deal with pain permanently.
How workers’ compensation helps those with repetitive motion injuries
If you spend all of your day lifting, twisting or gripping, your job performance may directly lead to your repetitive motion injury. Provided to that medical professionals validate your claim that the injury stems from your job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits that will provide full coverage for your medical care and temporary disability benefits if you have to take time off of work to heal.