There are a number of tasks in the workplace that do not seem dangerous to the ordinary observer. Answering phone calls, typing, working at an assembly line or scanning barcodes are some of the activities that form part of most workers’ day-to-day jobs. However, these tasks movements can result in long-term injuries to the affected employee. This type of injury is known as repetitive stress injury (RSI).
Repetitive stress injuries, also known as cumulative trauma disorders, refer to a range of injuries that develop following cumulative small-scale trauma to the body’s soft tissues or tendons. These injuries are quite common in the workplace thanks to the monotonous nature of today’s workplace and work habits, including:
Poor posture happens when the body remains in a non-neutral position. This can be in the forms of stooping, bending, twisting, straining to reach above the shoulders or reaching behind the body. Prolonged use of a non-ergonomic office chair can result in the body and tendons developing fatigue. The same applies when you are struggling to work on a poorly placed computer monitor or keyboard. Poor posture affects the blood supply to the affected muscles resulting in RSI.
Most workplace tasks require some degree of force. However, if the force necessary to complete a task strains your muscles, tendons or joints, then this excessive strain on your tissues can result in a repetitive stress injury.
Most traumas happen when you are attempting to reach more than your arm’s reach or lift heavy objects that apply excessive force to pressure joints. When this happens repetitively, it denies your muscles time to heal between the movements.
A repetitive stress injury in the workplace can affect your productivity. Depending on the severity, you may require hospitalization to treat your injuries. Find out how you can pursue a successful workers’ compensation claim if you have sustained a repetitive stress injury at work.