Blackberry thumb, iPod finger, gamer’s thumb. Do any of these phrases sound familiar? Maybe not, but if you operate an electronic device in 2014, chances are, you can probably imagine how repetitive stress injuries can occur from even the most mundane tasks. Workers compensation laws in Illinois not only address issues related to repetitive stress injury, but also offer effective solutions for workers who experience such injuries. However, the Illinois workers compensation act’s notice requirement may pose a roadblock in obtaining effective treatment for repetitive stress injuries. It is important to recognize what types of work can cause repetitive trauma, and to seek treatment as soon as symptoms of repetitive stress are noticed.
Perhaps the most recognizable repetitive stress injury is carpal tunnel syndrome, a type of neuropathy that results in intermittent numbness of the affected hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is commonly associated with clerical work such as typing, but it is also prevalent in assembly line work, or any job that requires a prolonged, fixed position of the hands. Many workers who suffer symptoms of carpal tunnel believe that they are unable to pursue relief through workers compensation, as the very definition of a repetitive stress injury is one that occurs over time. However, repetitive stress injuries are compensable under Illinois law and for this reason, it is important for the affected worker to make note of the first time they notice a problem arising from the prolonged use of their hands. Workers in assembly line positions should exercise special care to note when and if they experience numbness, pain, or strain in their hands. At this time, further injury may be avoided by alerting a supervisor of the problem, and seeking treatment right away.
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The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information and materials provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances. Please contact the lawyers at Smoler Law Office for legal assistance.