Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are common workplace injuries nowadays. With so many people spending their working day sat in one place or glued to their computer, it’s no surprise. These are not natural actions for humans, and our bodies are not designed for them.
Because RSIs do not result from one specific event, they are less prominent in many employers’ minds when considering safety than something such as protecting against roof falls.
Bosses, colleagues and injured workers themselves may downplay RSIs because there is little visible sign that someone genuinely has one and because a sore wrist sounds negligible compared to a broken back, a crushed limb or other catastrophic injuries.
RSI’s must be taken seriously
Ignoring an injury caused by repetition will only make it worse. What starts as a minor twinge could prevent you from working for months or cause you to need an operation.
Thankfully employers can do a lot to prevent them. Here are some steps they can and should take to protect workers:
- Have a technician set everyone’s desks up with them: Correct chair, desk and screen height are crucial to good posture, which is vital to reduce injury risk.
- Purchase ergonomic equipment: Many companies now offer employees standing desks which have many advantages over sitting down all day. Cheaper upgrades can include ergonomic keyboards and mouses and cushioned bars for wrists.
- Allow workers adequate breaks: Taking a rest from the keyboard is crucial. Employers who vary workers’ duties so that someone does not spend all day every day sitting at their desk are helping to reduce injury risks.
If you are injured at work, seek legal help to claim workers’ compensation. You have rights, and you deserve fair treatment.