Workers’ compensation for repetitive stress injuries

There are many types of injuries that can happen in the workplace. One that is often overlooked is a repetitive stress injury (RSI), which happens when a worker repeatedly strains their body. If a worker has an RSI, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

RSI overview

An RSI can affect a worker’s muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues. The injury can cause pain and discomfort, as well as prevent the worker from doing their job, either partially or fully.

An RSI may happen with repetitive and prolonged use of a keyboard, computer mouse, or other office equipment which can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also happen on an assembly line, causing back pain and shoulder injuries from repeatedly bending, lifting and twisting their body.

Workers who do heavy lifting on a construction site, in a retail setting or in a warehouse can suffer herniated disks and sciatica. An RSI can also occur in the music and beauty industries, where workers regularly use their hands and fingers to do their job.

Applying for workers’ compensation

After you are injured, you must notify your employer and seek medical attention if necessary. Your employer will file an injury report. It’s important to keep detailed records about your injury and medical treatments.

You can submit a claim for benefits to the workers’ compensation bureau and you may be required to attend a hearing to present evidence about the injury. If your claim is approved, workers’ compensation will provide you with benefits for lost wages and medical treatment, if needed.

If your claim is denied, you may have an option to appeal.