Repetitive Strain Injury Compensation Claims Explained

Ian Lewis[1]

Ian Lewis

Money Savings Advice Repititve strain injury & compensation

Only those who’ve actually suffered from repetitive strain injuries (RSI) will know how painful and uncomfortable they can be if you have developed RSI as a consequence of negligence by your employer you need to consider taking advice. All employers have a legal obligation to ensure the health and well-being of their employees. That includes you!

While historically repetitive strain injuries were associated with typists and those using keyboards, they are more common than many people think. This is a condition which can affect many areas of the body.

Your employer should be providing relevant comfort/safety equipment and factoring inappropriate breaks. Ignorance is not an excuse as all employers should be carrying out regular risk assessments.

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Is RSI Known by Any Other Names?

If you have not come across the term repetitive strain injury, you may hear this condition described as:-

  • Repetitive motion disorder
  • Cumulative trauma disorder
  • Occupational overuse syndrome
  • Overuse syndrome
  • Regional musculoskeletal disorder

In order to pursue the compensation, you would need to have a medical diagnosis for either repetitive strain injury or one of its other common forms.

What Areas of the Body Does RSI Impact?

A repetitive strain injury is often described as an upper limb disorder that just about covers the majority of cases. The condition can impact various areas of your body including:-

  • Forearms
  • Elbows
  • Wrists
  • Hands
  • Neck
  • Shoulders

RSI is brought about as a consequence of repetitive acts in the workplace which can cause significant injuries to muscles, nerves and tendons.

What Are the Traditional Symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury?

There are a number of symptoms to look out for with regards to RSI which include:-

  • Stiffness
  • Throbbing
  • Tingling/numbness
  • Cramp
  • Tenderness
  • Aching pain
  • Inability to grip

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should report them to your employer and seek medical assistance. There are ways and means of reducing the impact of RSI, but in some cases, there will be no ultimate cure.

What Actions Bring About RSI?

As we touched on above, repetitive strain injuries are brought about due to the overuse of muscles and tendons normally in the upper half of the body. This overuse of muscles and tendons can cause nerve damage which can sometimes be long-lasting and extremely painful.

Some of the more common scenarios in which RSI may develop include:-

  • Holding a poor/awkward posture for a prolonged period of time
  • Repetitive actions in the workplace
  • High intensity/physically challenging actions without a break

In the past, many people have associated RSI with keyboard users when, in reality, it can impact a whole range of employees.

Should My Employer Be Providing Safety/Comfort Equipment?

Yes. All employers have a legal obligation/duty of care to ensure the physical and mental well-being of their employees. As a consequence, where potential risks of RSI have been identified, it is important that the relevant comfort/safety equipment is made available.

This may involve something as simple as an ergonomic keyboard, a new chair for better posture or the supply of safety gloves and other equipment.

There have been reports of some employers attempting to charge employees for safety equipment which is unlawful.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Time-Limit?

It may be possible to extend the time limit where there are extenuating circumstances, but this is not traditionally the case.

Can I Claim Compensation for Repetitive Strain Injury in the Workplace?

Yes. If you have developed repetitive strain injuries as a consequence of negligence by your employer, then you have every chance of claiming compensation. Ignorance is not an excuse as your employer is also legally obliged to carry out various risk assessments to ensure the safe well-being of their employees.

What Level of Compensation Might I Expect?

Assuming that you were able to prove negligence, your compensation will depend upon the type and severity of your injury. Industrial diseases track the same range of compensation as personal injury claims which include:-

  • Compensation for minor wrist injuries between £2810 and £3790. Cases involving relatively minor injuries to the wrist but a significant permanent disability can attract compensation from £19,530-£31,220.

  • Compensation for relatively minor hand injuries can vary between £730 and £3460. A serious hand injury could attract compensation from £23,110 up to £49,350. In the event that an injury has effectively taken away the use of your hands, compensation between £112,100 and £160,600 may be available.

At this point, it is worth mentioning there are two different types of compensation, general damages and special damages.

What Are General Damages?

General damages relate to financial compensation as a consequence of your pain and suffering. The guidance for compensation tends to be in a relatively tight band such as those examples detailed above.

What Are Special Damages?

The best way to describe special damages is the recompense for costs incurred in relation to an injury as well as future funding requirements. It is also possible to claim compensation for other issues such as potential loss of earnings, loss of bonuses and loss of pension contributions.

Will I Need to Appear in Court?

When seeking compensation for industrial diseases, such as repetitive strain injury, it is unlikely you will be called to give evidence. The vast majority of legitimate claims are settled out of court, and those which are difficult, if not impossible, to prove are often dropped at a relatively early stage.

Even if you were called to court, it is simply to go over your statement and confirm your evidence. Your claims management representative will be there to guide and assist you, but it is nowhere near the ordeal that many people suggest.

Summary

While repetitive strain injuries have been around for decades, it has only recently been recognised as a medical condition. It is, therefore, possible to pursue compensation if you developed repetitive strain injury as a consequence of your working environment and repetitive tasks.

Remember, all employers have a legal obligation to ensure the physical and mental well-being of their employees.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making an Industrial illness Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Industrial illness Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries & illnesses they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis is one of our specialist financial writers. Ian has over 15 years of financial writing experience, having worked for some of the largest financial publications in the UK covering topics from mortgages, equity release, loans and financial claims, to name a few.

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