Roberts Jackson’s Top 5 Tips on Reducing Repetitive Strain Injuries at Work
Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) can be extremely common in certain lines of work and can appear in many different forms in many different parts of the body. The most common area to find RSI is usually in the arms, shoulders, neck and back region. Roberts Jackson have been running RSI cases since 2009 and in that time we have come across a large range of different forms causes by different work related tasks.
Common industries where RSI occurs usually factor in some manual work related task where fast repetitive motion is needed in order to complete the duty at hand. Assembly line work, retail, factory work and construction work are all common causes of Repetitive strain as well as beauticians, hairdressers, cleaners and even office workers. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) upper work related limb disorders the most commons tasks causing these sorts of conditions during 2012-2014 were keyboard work, guiding or holding a tool, manipulating materials and heavy lifting/carrying.
We have put together the top 5 ways you or your employer can prevent or improve circumstances where RSI is likely to be caused:
If you believe that a certain task you are performing is causing or exacerbating a Repetitive Strain Injury it is important that you report this to your line manager and your HR department. Employers have a duty of care to their employees and must take steps to improve your working conditions or provide support where necessary, however your employer can not be held accountable if they have not been informed of your condition.
RSI is usually due to fast repetitive movements on a consistent basis which is why people with highly targeted manual jobs are most at risk. If your target is too high or you are covering for a member of staff who is absent we would always advise requesting support from your employer who will be able to review your target and how often you’re performing a certain task. If it is deemed that you are being overworked your employer can then provide assistance either in the form of an additional employee to assist or reducing target expectations
Take Regular Breaks
This point seems fairly obvious to most however there are a few options to consider when organising breaks with your employer. As mentioned, consistent repetitive actions are the cause of RSI so even taking 5 minutes here and there will greatly reduce the chances of developing the condition. If you have long breaks in the middle of the day, see if your employer is willing to break them up for so that your manual tasks aren’t as consistent
Request a Workspace Assessment
If you or your employer have taken all the measures possible it may be worth speaking to your HR department or someone in charge of health and safety within your workplace to see if they can assess your workspace. During this assessment they will analyse the area that you work in and may recommend using certain pieces of equipment that will support you with your tasks. They may also ask you to perform certain tasks and recommend different postures or body positions that decrease the risk of developing RSI.
Visit GP/Get a diagnosis
RSI is a tricky area to diagnose for any medical expert and can be down to a number of factors not just work. For example Carpal Tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that affects the wrists and can be caused by repetitive work or other constitutional factors such as obesity or pregnancy. It is important that you explain to your GP (or other health specialist) what duties you perform at work so they can indicate the cause of your condition more accurately and prevent further injury. It is worth noting that a diagnosis is not essential when bringing a claim for RSI.
Contact us and further information
Roberts Jackson Solicitors are experts in running Repetitive Strain Injury cases and can provide FREE legal advice if you have suffered RSI as a result of your work. We provide a No Win No Fee service and you will not have to contribute to any of the costs of the case unless we are successful (any fees incurred are taken from compensation award).
If you would like more information or want to discuss your claim in more detail you can call us on 0800 001 4496 or alternatively fill in the call back box found on the right hand side of the page and we will call you back at a convenient time for you.
 Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorder (WRMSDs) Statistics, Great Britain, 2015 http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/musculoskeletal/msd.pdf