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Repetitive stress injuries can lead to workers' comp claims

If you work in the construction industry, you likely work with a variety of power tools throughout your day. On the one hand, power tools certainly make your job easier to perform. But on the other, these handy tools can cause injuries that could severely limit your ability to work in the field of construction.

Repetitive stress injuries can be caused from the reverberations felt in your hands from holding onto the vibrating tools all day long. It puts stress onto the muscles, tissues, tendons and ligaments of the hands. Cold weather can exacerbate this condition. Over time, repetitive stress injuries (RSI) can prevent you from being able to do your job.

How it all begins

When you first began working in construction, you may have noticed a soreness develop in the muscles of your arms or hands. Much of that can be due to the use of muscles that you had not previously been using on a daily basis. But over time, your muscles adapted to the demands of your job.

The problem is that repeating the same motions over and over again during an eight- or 10-hour day can cause damage to the body parts that you use the most while performing your job. The cause of these type of injuries varies, but below are some common problems that can lead to RSI:

  • Overexertion
  • Not taking enough breaks between repetitive motions and/or activities
  • Awkward, unnatural motions that twist your wrists and arms
  • Poor posture
  • Fatigued muscles

Symptoms can be debilitating

At first, construction workers may not even realize they have experienced damage, as often there are no visible indications of injuries. Sometimes the first indication of a problem is that their work performance drops off significantly.

But for others, the symptoms are all too evident. The pain and tingling that construction workers can experience may worsen over time. They can experience numbness, redness and swelling in their arms, hands or other areas. They can lose strength and flexibility, potentially putting themselves and others at risk on the job.

Tying your injury to your job can be complicated

Once you begin to suffer from the symptoms, you may be unsure what the origin of the problem is. By the time you figure out that it's your job that's making you sick, you may be in too much pain to continue working.

Yet tying your RSI to your job is not always easy. Your employer may claim that something other than the conditions on your job caused your injuries. If your claim for workers' compensation gets denied, you may need to consult with a North Carolina workers' compensation attorney.

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