The numbers of repetitive strain injury claims have risen with the increased use of computers in the office. Due to the repetitive movements of the hands, fingers and wrists when working on a computer for eight or more hours a day, developing an injury at work is a very real possibility. If you’re suffering from a repetitive strain injury from your work, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
Your employer is responsible for making you aware of the dangers of RSI and should be encouraging to take measures to prevent it. As there is not much more they can do except educate staff and to encourage them to take action, if an RSI develops despite this it may be more complicated to pursue a claim. However, if they have ignored all the dangers and failed to tell you best practice on how to prevent RSI, they may be liable to pay you compensation.
Symptoms of RSI
Repetitive strain injuries can vary in severity. Some common symptoms associated with it include:
- Pain or stiffness in the hands/wrists
- Worsening pain when using a computer keyboard/mouse or playing sports
- Tingling and/or swelling in the affected area
- Hands lose their grip
- Muscles feel weak and tired
Although lesser forms of Repetitive Strain Injury can be treated, more severe cases can be lead to a permanent disability.
The most effective preventative techniques for RSI developing in an office environment include correct positioning of the arms and posture; known as the ergonomics. Special seats, mice and keyboards can be added to the desk space to assist with this process. A worker’s natural posture should be looked at carefully to determine which measures should be taken.
The posture is an important aspect of avoiding an RSI. A worker’s back should be straight as should the direction of the wrists to the keyboard. Feet should be flat on the floor with the knees at right angles to the ground. The seat should be adjusted to allow the feet to do this. Additionally, the top of the computer screen should be positioned at eye-level.
Making a Repetitive Strain Injury Compensation Claim
It is not just office staff that can suffer with repetitive strain injuries. Workers from a range of industries can develop the symptoms, by doing a repetitive activity that requires hand, wrist or arm muscles. For example, those in the construction industry who regularly use heavy tools as part of their work may find themselves in pain, as could drivers of lorry’s, taxi’s or even trains.
A study conducted in 2008 showed that 68% of UK workers suffer with some form of RSI. However, this cannot necessarily be completely blamed on the working environment. With most households now having computers within them too, it is usually a difficult task proportioning the entire blame for an RSI on being awork injury.
Getting the help of a personal injury solicitor who specialises in repetitive strain injury claims is important to help secure the full amount of compensation you are entitled to. Here at Ashley Ainsworth we can help you do just that.
Read some examples of successful accident at work compensation claims at Ashley Ainsworth here.