Maybe you are a custodial professional who cleans and maintains the same space every day, spending much of the day moving the same furniture or gripping a handle. Perhaps you are a prep cook who chops vegetables and sears pre-cooked cuts of meat all day long. You might even work in a factory.
Any job that requires the frequent performance of the same tasks over and over can eventually do irreparable harm to your body. Your connective tissues, tendons and muscles will feel the impact of repetitive work responsibilities. Years or even decades of committed employment could tragically lead to difficulty with you continuing your job even though you aren’t old enough yet to retire.
Frequent performance of the same tasks lead to repetitive motion disorders
The human body is not a machine. It cannot perform the same work for hours every day without some kind of negative consequence. The longer you keep doing the same work, the greater the eventual cumulative trauma to the body parts that perform those tasks.
Whether you develop carpal tunnel from typing or back injuries from lifting and twisting on the line all day, repetitive motion disorders can effectively end your career. These conditions generally require that you rest the affected body part and stop performing the path that led to the injury.
Unless your employer can accommodate you by moving you to a job with different responsibilities or providing you with assistive technology or ergonomic support, you may not be able to keep working after your diagnosis with a repetitive motion disorder.
How workers’ compensation can help
When a doctor diagnoses you with a medical condition that clearly results from the work you do, you can then file a claim for workers’ compensation. You can depend on those benefits to cover your medical expenses and to provide you with disability benefits while you recover.
If you will never fully regain function, workers’ compensation can provide you with permanent partial disability benefits that help reimburse you for some of your lost earning potential. You could also possibly get job training or vocational rehabilitation benefits that help you command a better wage even with your reduced physical functionality.
Understanding your rights to claim workers’ compensation benefits after a job injury is a crucial step toward protecting yourself and your family.