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Long-term employment can lead to career-ending injuries

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Workplace Injuries

Many professionals take a great sense of pride in maintaining employment with a particular business. They may stay with the same company for years or even decades. Unfortunately, staying with the same company in the same position for years can be a dangerous choice.

Professionals can develop medical issues that interfere with their ability to perform their jobs. Occasionally, workers develop traumatic injuries that require immediate medical care and permanently affect their functional capabilities. Other times, they have issues that develop because of their job responsibilities. The longer someone stays in the same position with the company, the greater their risk of developing a repetitive stress injury or repetitive motion disorder.

Cumulative trauma can end a career

Medical professionals sometimes refer to the injuries caused by repetitive job stress as cumulative trauma. No one job task causes severe injury, but mild stress on the same body parts day after day and year after year eventually leads to serious medical challenges.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an easy to comprehend example of a repetitive stress injury or cumulative trauma. Workers who consistently perform manual tasks or who have to grip a steering wheel all day can end up developing pain and then weakness in their hands and forearms. The symptoms may start small and become more severe with time. Eventually, the pain or functional limitations can prevent someone from doing their job.

How workers’ compensation helps

Someone with a medical issue related to repetitive job functions might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. They can receive disability pay while they take a leave of absence. Time away from repetitive job functions can be crucial to the healing process. Workers may also need medical benefits so that they can undergo treatment ranging from surgery to physical therapy. The combination of the two forms of benefits can drastically reduce the economic impact that a repetitive job has on an employee.

Workers may all be able to request job accommodations based on the medical recommendations of the doctor providing their care. Instead of ignoring discomfort related to repetitive job functions, workers often benefit from speaking up. The sooner they address the issue, the more likely they are to prevent their symptoms from causing permanent damage. Left untreated, cumulative trauma can become so debilitating that a worker has to change professions. They may end up with significantly diminished earning potential as a result.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a smart move for those concerned about repetitive stress on the job. Workers ranging from office employees to line cooks may eventually require workers’ compensation because of repetitive job functions.