Repetitive Motion Injuries: A Common Health Issue in Workplaces

By on 7-20-2015 in Construction Accident

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, repetitive motion injuries are becoming more and more common in workplaces all over the United States. The term itself is used to refer to a range of injuries caused by damages the muscles, tendons, and nerves in particular areas of the body that bear a significant amount of strain. As its name suggests, these injuries occur due to the prolonged repetition of movements that are forceful, awkward, and unnatural to how the human body is designed. At first, repetitive motion injuries cause numbness or weakness in the affected area. When it is left untreated, these sensations will turn into intense and debilitating pain.

An example of these types of injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by a pinched nerve in one’s hand. According to the website of Hach Rose Law, it can cause numbness and tingling sensations in the fingers, pain in the wrists, and loss of grip strength. Another example is bursitis, characterized by inflammation of sacs protecting the knees, toes, elbows, wrists, shoulders, and other joints. Tendonitis is another example and causes the inflammation of tendons.

These conditions and other repetitive motion injuries are common in employees whose daily work tasks include carrying heavy loads, operating machinery, and spending long hours on a computer. Other factors also contribute to the risk of these workers developing a repetitive motion injury. Having poor posture while sitting on a desk is one of the most common risk factors to such injuries. Performing physically demanding jobs without observing proper form and technique is another.

While repetitive motion injuries may be a common issue affecting employees in a given workplace, it also doesn’t take much to prevent them from occurring. As mentioned, practicing proper posture can make a difference in the amount of strain caused by repetitive tasks. Doing some stretching exercises can also help rid of any strain felt by muscles and joints. This is particularly crucial for workers that need to carry heavy loads and objects. Stretching helps warm up their muscles for the physical stress demanded by their tasks. Workers whose tasks put them at risk to repetitive motion injuries should also be allowed to enjoy periodic breaks and have enough time to recuperate from strain.

It is in the nature of accidents to be unpredictable. Jobsite accidents can happen at any time, and when they do, they can cause significant consequences to anyone affected. Fortunately, as the website of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm emphasizes, workers are guaranteed protection by the law from any unexpected incident. Anyone hurt while on the job—whether it’s a repetitive motion injury or something else—may be eligible to receive compensation.