Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a term which refers to a range of painful conditions that affect the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. Repetitive strain injuries are usually caused by over-use or repetitive use of parts of the body. The condition often affects the hands and arms. Another factor which can contribute to the problem is poor posture.
Although more is now known about RSI, it is still unclear exactly what causes it. In some cases, the condition is accompanied by swelling and inflammation, but in others there are no symptoms other than the pain experienced. Recent research has suggested that stress at work may also contribute to RSI, perhaps by increasing muscle tension.
Treatment for repetitive strain injury
Treatment generally includes stopping the task which is causing the problem and improving the working environment, as well as physiotherapy and painkillers. Employers have a duty to ensure that their employees work in a safe and healthy environment. RSI has been recognised for a number of years as an industrial disease; there is therefore no reason why an employer should not consider the risk of RSI and minimise the likelihood of their employees developing the condition by allowing sufficient breaks and rotating tasks.
If you suffer from a type of RSI which you believe was caused by your working environment, you can make a claim for compensation from your employer. In order to be able to make a claim, you must be able to prove that the condition was caused by your work, and that the employer knew of the problem and did nothing to resolve the issue.
RSI is a big issue, with approximately one in 50 workers in the UK reporting a condition. RSI sufferers on average take off 19 days per year as a result of their condition.
What sort of payout can I expect?
How much you can receive for an RSI will vary, but there are plenty of stories of enormous payouts. To assess how much your claim is likely to be worth, a specialist accident solicitor will look at the sums awarded for similar cases in the recent past. If the awards were made over several years ago, the solicitor will adjust the value in line with inflation.
If you want to find out how much your RSI claim might be worth, then talk to us here at Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) and we will be able to go over the details of your case. We have provided some figures as a very rough guide, but obviously we will be able to give you a better assessment with more details.