Even though manufacturing is now a highly automated industry, there still are repetitive motions that workers must do day in and day out. Unlike an injury that debilitates immediately, the damage of a repetitive motion injury (RMI) accumulates over time. Here are some of the types of RMIs and their symptoms, along with what to do if you think you may have one of these cumulative injuries.
RMIs are not just office work related. Any task that requires extensive repetition of the same movements carries a risk of injury over time. It’s even more stressful on your body if these motions happen on equipment that vibrates. A substantial amount of repetition lifting and carrying can also bring about an RMI. Injuries include:
• Low back pain
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
Only felt after a period of accrued injury, an RMI’s symptoms may feel like they came out of the blue, but they’re most likely related to what you do each day on the job. They can include:
• Tingling and numbness
• All different types of pain
• Limited range of motion
• Loss of coordination and strength in the affected area
It’s in your best interests to not wait to investigate your symptoms. If you suspect that the injury is related to your work duties, report your injury to your employer and see a doctor for your symptoms. Waiting too long to report pain and discomfort can only increase the chance that your injury will get worse.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance is there to take care of you and your coworkers if an injury occurs. This includes compensation for lost wages and disability, as well as coverage of medical treatment.