A wear and tear injury, also called a traumatic stress injury or a repetitive stress injury, develops over an extended period and often worsens if left untreated. Wear and tear injuries are usually long-lasting, causing pain and immobility, decreasing a victim’s overall well-being. In California, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation from the California Department of Workers’ Compensation if you suffer from a workplace wear and tear injury.
This post will discuss five of California’s most prevalent wear and tear workplace injuries associated with workers’ compensation claims.
Five Common Workplace Wear and Tear Injuries
California’s five most common wear and tear injuries found in the workplace are as follows:
1. Back Injuries
From lumbar strains to disc herniations, workplace back injuries are common and are most often the result of poor posture combined with extended periods of sitting. Those who work desk jobs have an exceptionally high risk of back strain. Symptoms of a back strain include decreased mobility, leg tingling, stiffness, and pain.
On-the-job back strain isn’t limited to those working in an office. Back strains and spine injuries are also common among those employees who lift heavy objects at work, especially if they are not using adequate support. Jobs that require heavy lifting or repeated bending put employees at serious risk of developing back injuries.
2. Shoulder Injuries
Like a back injury, a shoulder injury can be the result of lifting heavy objects or being in an awkward position or posture while performing your work duties. Lifting heavy objects without the proper support can cause shoulder or rotator cuff damage.
Failure to treat such conditions and correct the situation can result in serious shoulder injuries over time, such as muscle strains, ligament strains, and frozen shoulder, a condition where scar tissues build up in your shoulder joint.
3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Your carpal tunnel is the narrow pathway protecting your hand’s primary nerve and the tendons controlling your fingers. Whenever that nerve is compressed, pinched, or inflamed, you may develop what is known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects not only the hands and fingers but also the arms. Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include numbness, tingling, dexterity issues, grip problems, and decreased strength. Studies directly tie certain work-related activities, like keyboard and mouse use to carpal tunnel injuries.
4. Hearing Loss
There are several industries, including the construction industry, where extended exposure to noise in a loud working environment can cause significant hearing loss, which is incredibly debilitating.
Employees not wearing adequate ear protection may experience a gradual decrease in hearing, leaving them partially or even fully deaf. Although hearing loss is a common workplace wear and tear injury, it is still quite catastrophic for the worker.
Tendonitis is an injury occurring when tendons, usually in the wrist, elbow, shoulder, or any other joint, are inflamed, causing substantial pain and limited mobility.
A tendon connects the muscle to the bone. When the tendon becomes irritated, usually due to a repetitive strain, the damage can be long-lasting with effects that can hinder the worker’s quality of life along with their ability to do their job and maintain employment.
Avoiding Common Wear and Tear Workplace Injuries
One of the best ways to avoid wear and tear workplace injuries is by creating ergonomic work settings. Ergonomics refers to the science behind creating work environments that maximize the safety and comfort of an employee.
For example, if you work in an office, you should ask your employer to supply you with an ergonomic desk chair that supports good posture. You may also want to request that your employer provide you with a convertible standing workstation, which can help you avoid injuries associated with sitting in a single position throughout the day. Office workers will also benefit from the use of an ergonomic mouse and keyboard.
Those whose job requires heavy lifting should be provided with adequate equipment and learn to use the correct posture while lifting a heavy load. By stretching their muscles periodically, workers can increase flexibility and strength while reducing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, back strains, or shoulder injuries.
Those working in loud work environments should always wear adequate ear protection to prevent hearing loss. Earmuffs and earplugs are excellent for workers to protect their hearing while allowing them to still do their job. Employers must provide ear protection when the work environment produces loud noises over 90 decibels. However, in work environments that are only moderately noisy, workers may want to request protection because even in these environments, hearing loss can occur over time.
Workers should be take initiative and take the proper steps necessary to avoid workplace wear and tear injury.
Filing a Wear and Tear Injury Claim
Those who suffer from wear and tear workplace injuries may qualify for workers’ compensation, but the process can be challenging. If you have sustained an on-the-job wear and tear injury, a California workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
The wear and tear injury experts from Aoudi Law can help. The professional staff at Aoudi Law has helped countless employees obtain compensation following a workplace injury in California. From carpal tunnel syndrome to tendonitis and every other wear and tear injury, Aoudi Law has your back.
Call or text 714-386-9874 today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you through the California workers’ compensation claim process.