Massachusetts workers suffer injuries in many workplace environments, at construction sites and hospital or office settings, or in transportation-related work. While people often think of injury as a single occurrence such as a fall, trip, or other specific incident, many experience issues of chronic pain or loss of function due to overuse of a particular part of the body.
Residents of North Andover and surrounding areas who do not realize their eligibility for benefits under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system may want to find out more about their legal options for receiving adequate compensation for their condition.
What is repetitive strain injury?
Repetitive strain injury is a condition that gradually causes deterioration or damage to muscles, tendons, or nerves from certain activities that are repetitive or creative strain to the same parts of the body from overuse. The condition can take years to develop and often gets worse over time, eventually resulting in occupational disease.
Some more common RSI’s that can reduce or disrupt a worker’s ability to perform their job function include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back strains and sprains
- Herniated discs
- Loss of sensation from nerve compression
Many injuries are due to repetitive motions such as:
- Typing or other repetitive office activities
- Holding the same posture for extended periods or having poor posture
- Carrying or holding heavy loads
- Repetitive bending or reaching
Monotony and psychological stress can make symptoms more severe. While work accommodations can alleviate the severity or onset of symptoms, many people are not aware of the damage done from an RSI until it requires medical attention.
Workers’ compensation in Massachusetts
Massachusetts law provides workers’ compensation benefits for most workers who are eligible, even part-time employees. Disabled workers who have experienced a medically documented work-related injury and their families may receive benefits for:
- Temporary partial or total incapacity, which can provide 60% to 75% of the worker’s gross wages for up to 260 days
- Permanent and total incapacity, which can be 66% of gross average weekly wages for as long as the worker is disabled, including an annual cost of living adjustment, a well as medical benefits for treatment, prescriptions, and rehabilitation, depending on the condition. The amount of benefit depends on the extent of the worker’s disability.