When you imagine a workplace injury, you may think of a broken bone or brain injury. However, one of the most common types of occupational injuries is a repetitive stress injury. A cumulative trauma disorder refers to damage to tendons, nerves and muscles due to repetitive motions.
Repetitive stress injuries often affect the wrists, hands, neck, shoulders, elbows and forearms. A few of the most common repetitive injuries are carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis and tennis elbow. Here are some workplace activities that may lead to this type of trauma.
1. Barcode scanning
If you work in retail, you are familiar with the activity of scanning barcodes. Retail jobs require you to do this for hours on end. Whether you work in a grocery store or clothing shop, you may slide or pull items across your scanner thousands of times each day. While this may seem like a simple activity, it can injure you when you do it over and over for an extended period of time.
2. Computer use
Computers are a necessary component of almost every occupation today. This is especially true if you work in an office. You may sit behind a screen for your entire shift or at least a significant portion of it. Typing and sitting in one position can lead to injuries, especially if you work without necessary breaks, for too many hours or without ergonomics.
3. Construction activities
Working in construction requires you to do a lot of heavy lifting and repetitive work. Some construction tasks that often result in repetitive trauma include the following:
- Sawing or cutting
- Setting pipes
- Hammering nails
- Using power tools
- Sanding or polishing
- Driving forklifts
If you partake in any of these responsibilities for your job, stay alert to any discomfort or pain you experience.
No matter what job you have, you should see your doctor and consider filing a workers’ compensation claim if you think you have an injury from repetition.