Repetitive Strain Injury - Claiming for a Work Related Injury
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) or as it is now known "Work related Upper Limb Disorder" (WRULD) is the term given to damage to the upper limbs which is thought to be work related through repetitive use. This type of injury/disorder often affects the wrist, forearm and upper arm.
Can I claim compensation? Do I have a case?
The 3 steps:
You need to establish fault on behalf of your employer or a third party to be successful in a claim.
You need to show that:
- Your employers/third party should reasonably have foreseen that the work they were requiring you to do carried with it a risk of injury and;
There were steps which the employers could and should reasonably have taken which would have avoided or at least minimised the risk of that injury occurring and;
By not taking those steps, the injury has been caused.
Can I win?
In short, yes, but not all the time, not every case succeeds. Each case must be assessed on an individual basis. We would need to investigate your job thoroughly and look at the physical demands created by it such as:
- force and posture
- length of time the tasks are carried out on each shift
- what are the rest periods
- what pressures are placed on you by your employer to meet targets
- what equipment is used
- any recent changes in the system of work
- are any other employees affected
Once we have assessed the above factors we should be able to give you an opinion as to the prospects of success.
FREE repetitive strain injury assessment
Get a free assessment done now by downloading and completing our no obligation RSI questionnaire.
Claiming compensation for repetitive strain injury – Helpful Hints
- Strength in numbers - If you are the only person experiencing the symptoms in your workplace and there are other people doing a similar task to yourself then this might suggest that the cause is not work related. If there are other people suffering even though not to the same extent as you, if we can use them as witnesses to assist in the case that will strengthen the claim
- Getting better - If the symptoms improve or stop when the job or task at work ceases, eg when you are off sick or on holiday this would suggest also that the cause is work related
- Complaints - If you or any of your work colleagues have complained to your employers about the work that you were asked to do prior to the development of your symptoms then this will help your case as we will be able to use this to show that the employer could reasonably have foreseen the risks of the injury you sustained
Medical causation – "It hurts therefore it must be caused by my job"
- It is very difficult to establish that the injury has actually been caused by the fault of the employer
- This is due to the fact that a number of the conditions associated with repetitive work and upper limb disorder can be caused by other factors eg:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is very common in adults, particularly females between the ages of 40-60. Medical studies have shown that between 7-16% will suffer from the syndrome. Medical conditions that are associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
- Abnormal thyroid function
- Rheumatoid arthritis, and
Studies show that Tennis Elbow occurs naturally for people aged between 40 and 50 and can develop in one arm, then develop later in the other arm without any obvious repetitive work.
How does this affect my claim?
Quite often we can succeed in establishing fault on behalf of the employers, but we cannot show that fault actually caused the strain injury
Many employers will argue that the injury was caused naturally or was due to other medical conditions
We would instruct a doctor, usually a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon or a Consultant Rheumatologist to assess your case in order to help establish fault
You need to be aware that diffuse symptoms make it easier for your employer to argue that the injury is occurring from some other reason
Is it worth making a claim or is it too much hassle?
- If you are suffering due to a repetitive strain injury you believe is caused by work then you should do something about it
- Even if after an initial free RSI assessment you are advised that the case does not stand any reasonable prospects of success, you have peace of mind in knowing you made the investigation
- If you don't make a claim or at least have it investigated, other employees could be at risk and your employers will be allowed to get away with ignoring the dangers of the job they were asking you to do
- You might prevent someone else from incurring a repetitive strain injury
Contact us and get a free RSI assessment
- Our initial assessment is free
- Even though we have highlighted some of the obstacles to be overcome, they are not insurmountable and we have been successful for RSI and WRULD sufferers in the past
- The Court recognises that the following conditions have been found to have been caused by repetitive work eg:
- Tenosynivitus, Tennis Elbow, Golfers’ Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Trigger Digit
- We have been pursuing these claims for some years, each case is individual and will turn on its own circumstances. Please do not suffer in silence. If you think your condition is caused by work, contact us. Remember the initial advice and assessment is free!
Download and complete our free RSI assessment questionnaire.
Are there any time limits?
- You only have 3 years from the date when you knew or reasonably should have known that your condition or symptoms were caused by your employment within which to issue Court proceedings
- If that date has passed then we may be time barred from pursuing a claim on your behalf
- There is a discretion to extend the period but this is only extended in limited circumstances
Take the 1st step now
Contact our Repetitive Strain Injuries Compensation Team now on freephone: 0808 129 3320 or complete our online enquiry form. Do not delay, contact us as soon as you feel your condition is work related.
Download and complete our free RSI assessment questionnaire.