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Repetitive strain injuries: What injured workers need to know

Employees in Connecticut often suffer repetitive strain injuries on the job, which may entitle them to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

There is some risk of injury for workers in nearly every field and industry in Connecticut, and throughout the U.S. According to the state's Department of Labor, workers across Connecticut suffered 53,800 occupational injuries in 2012 alone. Although bruises, sprains and broken bones are all common work-related injuries, many employees also suffer repetitive strain injuries on the job.

What are repetitive strain injuries?

Repetitive strain injuries are conditions, which develop due to awkward or sustained positions, forceful exertions, mechanical compressions, repetitive tasks or vibrations, according to Medical News Today. Numerous ailments may be classified as this type of condition, including tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and rotator cuff injuries. Repetitive strain injuries, which often affect joints and muscles, may be caused by workers' everyday job activities, such as typing, lifting items, using scanners or operating jackhammers.

Common symptoms of repetitive strain injuries

As a result of repetitive strain injuries, employees may experience a myriad of symptoms. Medical News Today points out that some of the most common of these symptoms include the following:

• Pain

• Tenderness

• Loss of strength

• Throbbing or tingling sensation

• Loss of sensation

Often, workers must seek medical treatment for these conditions. In some cases, they may have to take time off of work to recover, or alter their work duties.

Workers' compensation coverage

Employees who suffer repetitive strain injuries on the job may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. This may include coverage for their medical care, such as surgery, physical therapy, doctors' office visits and prescribed medications, among other treatments. According to the State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, workers who suffer occupational injuries, including repetitive strain injuries, may also receive temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability or vocational rehabilitation.

In order to receive workers' compensation benefits, employees who develop repetitive strain injuries must prove that their conditions occurred as a result of, and in the course of, their employment. To do this, they may be required to turn over their medical records.

Seeking legal guidance

Since repetitive strain injuries often progress over time, it can be difficult for workers in Connecticut, and elsewhere, to attribute them to a specific incident or accident. For some, this may complicate the process of obtaining workers' compensation. In order to ensure that their rights are upheld and they receive the benefits to which they are entitled, injured workers may find it of benefit to work with an attorney. A legal representative may guide them through the claims filing process, as well as help them to understand their options.

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