Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a condition caused by prolonged and repeated actions resulting in ongoing pain and discomfort in muscles, nerves and tendons. RSI can arise in many different forms, such as aches and pains in hands, wrists, fingers and thumbs but also includes frozen shoulder, tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome.
These symptoms can either be caused or worsened by your conditions at work and if your employer has not taken appropriate measures to reduce your risk of RSI, then you could be entitled to compensation.
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Are you suffering from Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)?
Unfortunately RSI can be a common problem and affects people in many different ways depending on their working conditions.
The two sectors where repetitive strain injuries are most common are:
Manual Labour – If you work in manufacturing or on a production line where you have to perform repetitive tasks, then RSI can develop in the form of in a difficult aches and pains in your thumbs, fingers, arms, shoulders and wrists.
Office Jobs – If you work in an office and spend most of your day sat at a desk carrying out repetitive jobs such as data entry or spend a long time holding a phone to your ear, then you can often develop aches and pains in your upper body such as your shoulders, neck, back and hips.
What is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)?
RSI, which is also commonly called work-related upper limb disorder or non-specific upper limb pain, is a general term used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons resulting from tissue damage caused by repetitive movement and overuse.
The Symptoms Of Repetitive Strain Injuries
The symptoms and severity of repetitive strain injury vary from person to person and are dependent on the nature of each condition. The most common problems noted by sufferers of RSI are:
- Pain and Swelling
- Muscle weakness
In the beginning, the painful symptoms of RSI become apparent while you are carrying out the repetitive movements that caused the problem. For example, experiencing pain during your working hours but not once you have gone home.
Unfortunately, after some time the symptoms of RSI can develop to the point where you’re consistently suffering from them. It is therefore highly important to seek advice from your doctor as soon as you realise that you’ve developed RSI.
I would like to thank Michael Lewin Solicitors, in particular Lauren Heppell for being diligent in getting me the full compensation for my RSI. It has been a long process and I owe you my thanks for pursuing it.”
– Mr S. Townsend, Leeds
Claiming Compensation for RSI
If you are suffering from RSI you could be entitled to up to £16,500.00 in compensation.
Tasks which can lead to RSI are holding tools in the same position for long periods of time, typing, using vibrating tools and equipment, doing jobs which cause you to hold a certain posture for prolonged periods, holding a telephone for long periods, work that requires lifting or carrying objects and many more.
Your Employer’s Responsibility
For a lot of people, it would be impossible to conduct their job without lots of arm, wrist and hand movement, however, your employer has a duty of care to you and should minimise any risk of injury or harm to you as an employee and should be taking measures to cut your risk of RSI. This could be by giving you more breaks or alternating the tasks you are doing so that it is less repetitive.
The employer needs to allow you to relieve the pressure on the wrists and hands by providing ergonomic tools or adequate rest breaks – these could stop RSI and the symptoms of RSI.
In order to make a RSI claim we must prove that your employer was aware, or should have been aware, that your job presents a risk of injury to you and that your employer then failed to take reasonable action to reduce or remove this risk and provide training or information to you to warn you of the risk.
Whilst RSI is common, the courts are focused on proving that you have RSI and that it was caused by your place of work, so you will also need to be examined by a medical expert who must provide a report to suggest that the RSI symptoms you are experiencing are likely to be linked to your work. Other causes may be genetic issues or constitutional injuries. Unfortunately a diagnosis by your local GP will be helpful but isn’t always sufficient.
We are aware of many friendly experts across England and Wales who we would refer you to should you wish to bring a claim. They can also often help by suggesting treatments and management plans which may not have been suggested by your general doctor.
RSI Workers Compensation – When to claim
It is important is that if you are reading this now and believe that you may have a claim, as you suffer with symptoms like those suggested above, then you must act quickly.
In English law we only have a period of 3 years to bring a claim for a personal injury case for repetitive strain, but if you claim early rather than later, your compensation will include a payout to help your recovery.
These time periods are lengthy on purpose as it can take some time to determine symptoms and fault; and finding this evidence alone can be complex, so getting a claim in quickly is really important as we don’t want you to run out of time. We can provide advice in relation to this via a short telephone call, completely free of charge to you.
If you would like to make a claim against your current employer, any compensation would initially be paid by their insurer. For many years it’s been compulsory to have insurance, so it would be highly likely that they will have this scheme in place. Legal safeguarding is in place to make sure you are protected from unfair dismissal.
In simple terms this means your employer must be able to justify their decision for dismissing you in relation to your claim, which, in most cases is highly unlikely. If you would like the opportunity of discussing this subject in more detail, our expert industrial disease solicitors will be able to help you by sitting down explaining your rights and what you can expect.
You will have three years to make a claim for compensation from the date you were first aware of your hearing loss symptoms, or if you believe the issues came about at your previous working environment.
This does mean, however, you can start a claim many years after you stopped working at the company in question, as long as you did not notice the extent of your hearing problems until much later.
Usually you need to make a compensation claim within three years of becoming aware that your illness might be linked to your work.
In fatal cases, the family of the deceased has three years to make a claim, starting from either the date your loved one died, or the date you received the post-mortem results.
If your illness occurred while working outside of the UK, then the time limit can be shorter. In this instance, it’s vital that you contact us as soon as possible.
We have many years of personal injury experience, having successfully recovered millions of pounds in compensation for our clients.
We have helped a wide variety of people injured in many different areas of employment obtain as much money as possible for more than a decade.
This wealth of knowledge and experience combined with our unrivalled level of determination to get you what is rightfully yours sets us apart from the rest.
We offer the very highest standard of customer care, whilst being warm, friendly and courteous, and ensure that every step of the claim process is as clear and straightforward as possible.
Repetitive Strain Injury FAQ's
What Ways Could My Employer Have Protected Me From The Risk Of RSI?
Employers have a duty of care to their employees, making sure they are protected from health risks in the workplace under the Health and Safety at Work Act. We can say, repetitive strain injuries are avoidable if best practice is followed. Employers, will need to do the following things to adhere to the Health and Safety Act:
- Repetitive tasks which employees undertake should be controlled
- Provide information and instruction on the risk of the task
- Monitoring of your health in relation to the risk
- Protective equipment, such as gloves or wrist supports, should be provided, if needed
- Give employees the opportunity to take breaks from work involving repetitive motions
The HSE advises that computer users should take a break of five to ten minutes away from their display screen equipment (DSE) every hour.
Will I Have To Go To Court?
It is very unlikely that you will have to go to Court. Most cases are settled via telephone or written negotiation.
We will do everything we can to avoid unnecessary court appearances.
How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
As each individual case may differ, compensation calculations will vary depending on your individual circumstances and a number of different factors, including:
- Current and future loss of earnings if you’ve had to stop working in the short or long-term
- Your condition, and its severity
- Your pain and suffering
- Medical expenses you’ve had to pay, as well as travel expenses to any appointments
- Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
Which Jobs Pose The Biggest Risk Of RSI, And Which Conditions Are Most Common?
There are many jobs which impose the risk of RSI, particularly jobs with extended use of a computer. Other workers which may be at risk of RSI include:
- Warehouse workers
- Assembly line workers
- Call centre operatives
- Machinists and hand-tool operators
We would like to stress this list isn’t exhaustive. A job that involves repetitive motions/actions that consistently put strain on particular muscles can cause RSI – even something as simple as holding a phone, typing, or regular heavy lifting.
Here’s a list of conditions linked to RSI include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome, affecting the hand and wrist
- Ulnar neuropathy, affects the elbow and forearm
- Vibration white finger, affects the hand and arm
- Bursitis, affects the knees and elbows
- Epicondilitis (tennis elbow)
- Tendonitis, can occur in any part of the body with tendons that flex
- Rotator cuff syndrome, affects the shoulders and traps.
Get In Touch
If you think that you or a loved one have been affected by work-related RSI. Make a Repetitive Strain injury claim by getting in touch with us by completing the form opposite. Alternatively, call us on 0113 200 9787 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t ignore something now that you will later wish you had claimed for.
If we believe that you have a potential claim then we will act for you on a “No Win No Fee” basis, meaning that if you are unsuccessful you will not pay anything for our work, no matter how long we have been acting for you.
Would you like to speak to a specialist solicitor about your RSI condition? Enter your contact details in the form below and we’ll get back to you.