Overuse Injury Claim *
An overuse injury * is defined as any injury to a muscle or joint which is caused by carrying out repetitive actions over an extended period of time. They are most commonly associated with work-related injuries. They can occur in any part of the skeletal system and are generally broken down into four stages, getting progressively worse through each stage. These four stages are:
Slight discomfort that you may feel as you are getting ready to complete the necessary actions
Discomfort that disappears as you work through the task but may come back when you have completed the action.
Discomfort that gets progressively worse through the course of the activity
Pain that you feel all the time no matter what the task is that you are completing. This pain can vary is severity and almost never goes away.
Overuse injury claims * are usually made through the Injuries Board who assess personal injury claims * in Ireland. There are a number of steps in the Injuries Board process so it would be advised to speak to a solicitor who can help guide you through each stage.
Types of Injuries
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A common cause of this is regular, repetitive strain on hands, fingers or wrists. This strain puts pressure on the nerves which facilitate movement of the fingers and hands. Symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness and a tingling sensation in the affected area.
Discs are located in the spine and are soft tissues which cushion the bones. Also known as a slipped disc, damage can be caused by overuse which may leave those injured unable to carry out everyday tasks.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
This is a disorder which causes discomfort in tendons of the upper body. RSI is very common among office workers who would spend a long time typing at a computer screen each day. This injury can cause chronic pain and discomfort for those affected.
Ganglion is a swelling in the top of tendons caused by a collection of fluid. This often affects hands and feet.
This injury is commonly called tennis elbow. It is caused by movements which repetitively stretch tendons and it affects the tendons on the outer side of the elbow. Symptoms can include pain and discomfort in both the arm and elbow and may also cause limited movement of the arm area.
Bursitis is the name given to the injury when the bursa becomes inflamed. The bursa acts as a cushion between the bones, muscles and tendons.
This is the name that a doctor gives to an injury when pain is felt but no cause for this can be determined. Symptoms for this injury will vary for each individual.
Tendinitis and Tendinosis
Tendinitis is the name given to inflammation of tendons. There are a number of different variations of this injury and it can occur all over the body. Symptoms can be hard to determine as there a many different types of injury. Tendinosis is chronic tendonitis. This is usually caused by an injury to the connective tissue which is around the tendons. Tendinosis can increase the chance of getting a ruptured tendon.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
CRPS is chronic pain which is generally caused by a traumatic injury. This condition often causes severe pain and discomfort and symptoms can be long-lasting.
This is an injury to the knee which is caused by overuse and continued stress to the body. Symptoms include chronic pain and reduced mobility of the affected area.
Preventing Overuse Injuries in the Workplace *
Overuse injuries * are commonly associated with accidents in the workplace * and generally affects those who work in an office as they would spend most of their day carrying out repetitive work, such as typing on a computer keyboard for a number of hours, working in a cold environment for too long, repetitive strain injuries from completing the same task over and over.
As a result of this, an employer has a responsibility to ensure that they put certain precautions in place to reduce the risk of an employee developing an injury. Your employer has a duty of care to ensure that your health and safety is a priority. If they have failed to put certain precautions in place then injury can happen as a result of this employer negligence.
It is important that an employer provides all employees with the correct equipment needed throughout the course of their work. In relation to preventing overuse injuries, they should provide the right keyboard and mouse which will prevent strain on the hand and wrist. Supportive office chairs should also be provided to prevent back injury and strain.
Employers should ensure that all employees have had the correct health and safety training. They should know how to correctly lift and move objects so as to avoid an overuse injury. If employees are trained on what to do in certain situations then the risk of injury occurring is reduced.
If an employer fails to provide training and equipment then they are likely to be found responsible if an accident or injury was to happen. A breach of the duty of care can mean that an employee’s health and safety is put at risk and employers will be found to be acting in a negligent manner.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
If you would like to discuss any aspect of this topic or would like more information on the process of making an injury claim *, feel free to contact our solicitors on 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With over 30 years’ experience, Tracey Solicitors ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.