Repetitive motion injuries and accidents result from motions or movements that are repeated constantly, day in and day out. Examples of movements that may cause repetitive stress injuries include: scanning items for purchase, lifting or moving objects repeatedly, and computer/typing work. Many repetitive motion injuries involve small "micro-movements", such as using computer mouse or writing.
Each year, nearly 2/3 of all occupational injuries reported are caused by repeated trauma or movement, mainly to upper body parts such as the shoulder, wrist, and elbow. Some repetitive stress injury (RSI) statistics are listed below, which were gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
- The year 2012 incident rate for Repetitive Motion injuries was 3.0 incidents per 10,000 workers.
- Musculoskeletal disease (MSD) had an incident rate of 37.8/10,000 workers, and overexertion accounted for 12.5 incidents per 10,000 workers. However, repetitive motion is often a factor in MSD and overexertion cases.
- Repetitive motion injuries take an average of 23 days to fully recover. This is 14 days more than the average for all other injuries (most take only 9 days).
- Repetitive motion injuries cost employers an estimated $80 billion a year.
- The most common repetitive stress injury is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). CTS affects more than 8 million Americans.
- Nearly half of all carpal tunnel syndrome cases cause workers to miss 31 days or more of work time.
- An estimated 260,000 carpal tunnel syndrome release surgeries are performed annually; 47% of these cases are considered to be work-related.
Some repetitive motion conditions are considered illnesses, not injuries due to the length of recovery time involved. This is especially true of carpal tunnel syndrome. As a result, statistics have reflected less numbers for injuries caused by trauma. On the other hand, the total number of illnesses has gone up due to the inclusion of repetitive stress injuries in the category (namely, carpal tunnel syndrome).
Repetitive motion injuries are also associated with very high fail rates when it comes to corrective procedures. CTS release operations and other nerve-compression injuries are associated with fail rates of over 50%. This is one of the main reasons why repetitive stress injuries are costing employers and insurers so much every year.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Repetitive motion accidents can sometimes be very serious and can leave the person out of work for a long time. You may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer if you need legal representation and advice on these types of matters. Your attorney can explain your rights to you and can inform you of how to proceed with a legal filing. A damages award or other type of remedy may be required in your case.