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Repetitive injuries in the workplace

Workplace injuries can take many different forms. Some believe that these injuries are limited to those who engage in manual labor. However, office workers may also be at risk for career ending injuries. The main culprit of these injuries are repetitive motion disorders.

When working in an office setting, good ergonomics is important to maintain good physical health. Ergo means work and nomos means rules. Ergonomics is the science of creating good workforce design. The goal is to make the workplace work for the individual rather than the individual work for the environment. Ergonomics will decrease the stress on the body during repetitive motions.

The problem with repetitive motion is that it can lead to pain and inflammation. Some of the most common types of inflammation are tendinitis, tenosynovitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendons. Awkward or repetitive motions can lead to this injury. Tenosynovitis occurs when both the tendon and its covering tissue become inflamed. Inappropriate bending of the wrist can cause this injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is squeezed.

If an employer ignores an employee’s ergonomic health, he or she may suffer from one of the above stated injuries. An individual that is unable to work after such an injury, may seek to apply for social security disability. From initial application an attorney can determine the appropriate legal issues and seek relief. If an applicant is denied social security, an attorney can also help with an appeal.

Source: Minot State University, “Ergonomics,” last visited May 11, 2015

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