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If you have developed RSI due to your work conditions, a repetitive strain injury claim could help you recover compensation for your injury and financial losses
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Repetitive Strain Injury Claims

A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a common complaint suffered by workers from all industries throughout the UK. It can affect anybody that carries out repetitive tasks and can cause significant pain, numbness and cramping in the affected area of the body. The wrists, hands, fingers, shoulders and elbows are the areas most commonly affected by RSI.

RSI to the ElbowIf you have suffered from any form of RSI, irrespective of the industry that you work in, and you believe that your employer was at fault, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.

An experienced solicitor would be pleased to discuss the strength of your claim during a free consultation. As well as confirming if you have a valid Repetitive Strain Injury claim, your solicitor will also be able to answer any questions you may have and explain the claims process. They will also do their best to provide an estimate of how much compensation your RSI claim could be worth.

If they can help, your injury lawyers will be happy to offer you a 100% no win no fee service. This ensures there are no upfront costs to start your claim, and if they cannot win your case, you won’t pay them a penny.

To find out more, call 0800 032 3660 today or click here to arrange your free case assessment. Alternatively, continue reading below for our guide to making a repetitive strain injury compensation claim.

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What is Repetitive Strain Injury?

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is an encompassing term that refers to the pain suffered in muscles, tendons and nerves which is caused by either repetitive movements over long periods of time or general overuse of the affected area. RSI is also known as work-related upper limb disorder or non-specific upper limb pain.

When work is repetitive such as typing for long hours, the same group of muscles are continuously used during the day. Prolonged repetition without taking adequate breaks result in energy depletion and the buildup of metabolic wastes. This, in turn, causes muscle fatigue and over a period of time can result in repetitive strain injuries.

There are two different class of repetitive strain injury, which are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 RSI is when there is a clear diagnosis of a particular repetitive injury. The most common types of Type 1 RSI include Vibration White Finger, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and tendonitis.

When a patient’s symptoms do not fit into a specific or definable condition, the RSI is referred to as Type 2. In effect, this is a catch-all that will cover all over types of repetitive strain injuries.

Most RSI cases affect parts of the upper body including the:

  • Hands and wrists
  • Forearms
  • Elbows
  • Neck
  • Shoulders

There are certain activities and actions that are thought to increase the likelihood of developing a repetitive strain injury, including:

  • High-intensity activity for long periods of time without breaks or rest
  • Repetitive actions or activities
  • Poor posture or working in awkward positions

Some people suffer from RSI because of cold temperatures or through the use of vibrating equipment and machinery. Stress is also recognised as a contributing factor to the condition.

People who work in certain jobs are more at risk of suffering from RSI, including factory workers, assembly line staff, checkout workers and those who type or work at a computer for long periods of time. These are predominantly job roles which involve task repetition.

Common symptoms of RSI

The symptoms of RSI can be mild or severe and usually develop over time, worsening through continued use of the injured body part. Symptoms will vary from person to person, but will often include the following:

  • Pain or tenderness in the affected area
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Weakness
  • Cramps and aching in the injured body part
  • Swelling in the affected area

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, it is important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Having the condition diagnosed early will help to ensure you receive the correct advice and any treatment to help relieve your symptoms.

If suitable treatment is not received for RSI, the symptoms may become worse, and in severe cases, the symptoms may eventually become permanent.

Treatment for Repetitive Strain Injuries

The initial step in the treatment of RSI is to ascertain which activity or task is causing the symptoms and ideally stop or amend the way that these tasks or actions are performed.

RSI of the WristIf it is work related, you should discuss the situation and the pain it is causing with your boss or supervisor. Your boss may be willing to offer help such as alternating tasks with a colleague, providing longer rest breaks or supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) that may help to alleviate the issues.

To relieve the symptoms of RSI, a doctor may suggest that you take a course of anti-inflammatory painkillers. You may also be advised to apply heat or cold packs to ease the pain and use supports or splints to protect the affected area. This will help to reduce further aggravation and minimise the pain and discomfort caused.

If your RSI is particularly bad, you may also be referred to a physiotherapist who will offer advice on how the affected muscles can be strengthened and relaxed. Rehabilitating exercises may be suggested to help the injured area recover and prevent further damage. Alternatively, some patients find that they are given advice on posture and how to strengthen or relax your muscles. Some people find that other types of therapy such as yoga, massages and osteopathy can also help to relieve their RSI symptoms.

There are also ways in which many repetitive strain injuries can be prevented, such as:

  • Ensuring that your posture is good during work activities such as when sitting at a desk for long periods or standing at an assembly line
  • Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks
  • Complete regular relaxation and stretching techniques to strengthen and relax the muscles and tendons

Am I eligible to make an RSI claim?

To make a successful claim for repetitive strain injuries, your personal injury solicitor will need to prove liability, diagnosis and severity of symptoms. The majority of RSI cases are caused by overuse of the affected body part. Some of the most common cases that are presented to us include:

  • RSI resulting from the use of a poor ergonomically planned workstations such as a chair that is not positioned correctly or is not designed for the purpose of the job.
  • Repetitive actions that are continually adopted by workers for extended periods of time, such as office workers who use a computer keyboard for several hours a day or gardeners who repeat a duty for excessive periods of time.
  • Working for extended time periods without taking a break.

You must be able to prove that the cause of the condition was related to work and that your employer did not meet their duty of care that was owed to you as an employee. In most cases, the symptoms of the RSI that is suffered will affect the claimant’s ability to carry out normal daily activities.

Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that their staff are not subjected to unnecessary risks or hazards in the workplace and that safety measures are employed to prevent injuries. The legal duty of employers includes the need to frequently assess the risks in the workplace, maintain all equipment to safety regulations, ensuring that workers utilise break times and employ safe practices throughout the workplace and that effective protection is offered against potential safety vulnerabilities.

If your employer has failed in their duty of care to you and this has resulted in a repetitive strain injury, it is likely that you will be eligible to make a claim for personal injury compensation.

If you are suffering from any type of repetitive strain injury and you would like to find out if you have a valid claim, contact an experienced team of injury lawyers. They will provide you with a free case assessment and will explain the process of making a claim. To find out more, call free on 0800 032 3660 today.

What evidence will I need to claim for a repetitive strain injury?

If you are making a repetitive strain injury claim, many different types of evidence can help to support your case. The evidence you will need will depend on your specific situation, but some examples of the types of evidence that may be relevant include the following:

  • Medical records that document your RSI, including any diagnosis, treatment plans, and recovery prospects;
  • Your work records can help to establish a link between your RSI and your work activities. This could include descriptions of your job duties, hours worked, and any equipment or tools used. You should also file an accident report with your employer and make sure to ask for a signed copy of it;
  • Statements from colleagues, supervisors or other witnesses can help to support your rsi claim by providing additional information about the work practices and conditions that may have contributed to your injury;
  • Expert opinions from medical professionals or occupational health experts can be used to provide additional evidence that your injury was caused by your employment;
  • Photographs or video footage of your work environment or the equipment you use could help to provide visual evidence of the conditions that may have contributed to your injury;
  • Financial records to support your claim for financial losses associated with your RSI, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and travel costs.

An experienced injury solicitor can help you gather everything you need to support your claim and ensure you receive the rsi compensation you deserve. To arrange a free consultation, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 032 3660 today.

Is my employer liable for my RSI?

All employers have a duty of care to ensure their workers are protected from the risk of workplace injuries, illnesses and diseases. Employers should make sure that adequate safety measures are in place to prevent workers from contracting any form of industrial disease or illness. The duty of employers includes:

  • carrying out workplace risk assessments
  • ensuring that tools, equipment and machinery used in the workplace are maintained in safe conditions
  • ensuring workers take adequate breaks to prevent them from contracting repetitive strain injury
  • ensuring there is adequate protection to workers
  • ensuring that workers are given proper training so they can carry out their tasks safely and effectively

If your employer has failed in their duty of care and you have suffered an injury as a result of this, you may be entitled to seek compensation.

What are the most common causes of repetitive strain injuries?

Repetitive strain injuries are usually caused by repeated movements and overuse of specific muscles, tendons, and nerves. Some of the most common causes of RSI include:

Lack of protective equipment

Protective equipment can include items such as gloves, wrist supports, or back braces, which are designed to help reduce the risk of injury by providing support and cushioning to the affected area. Employers must provide employees with suitable PPE to carry out their work safely.

Poor posture

Poor posture is a common cause of repetitive strain injuries that can typically affect the neck, shoulders, back, and arms. When an employee maintains the same position for a prolonged period, it can put excessive strain on certain muscles, tendons, and nerves, leading to RSI.

Repetitive motions

Repeating the same motion or movement frequently and for extended periods, such as typing or using a mouse, can cause an RSI in various areas of the body, including the arms, wrists, hands, and shoulders. For example, typing on a computer keyboard for an extended period without sufficient breaks can cause wrist and hand strain, leading to an RSI such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Forceful movements

Using excessive force, such as lifting heavy objects or working with certain tools, can also lead to an RSI. Employers are responsible for identifying and reducing the risks of injury due to forceful movements in the workplace. If you suffered an injury due to a lack of safety measures in the workplace, you might be entitled to make a rsi claim.

Awkward positions

Working in awkward positions, such as having to do a lot of bending or twisting, can put strain on the body and lead to an RSI. When an employee maintains an awkward posture for a prolonged period, the muscles and tendons involved in maintaining that posture can become overused and fatigued. This can cause micro-injuries, inflammation, and pain, leading to a repetitive strain injury.

Inadequate training

When employees are not trained properly on how to perform their job safely and correctly, it can lead to strain injuries. For example, lack of training on how to use machinery properly could lead to an RSI such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow. Similarly, if an employee is not trained on proper lifting techniques, they may lift heavy objects improperly, leading to back strain.

Vibrations

Regular exposure to vibrations, such as driving heavy machinery, can cause an RSI. For example, using power tools like drills or chainsaws can lead to hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), an RSI that causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and arms. Similarly, vibrating machinery such as jackhammers and compactors can lead to vibration white finger (VWF), which causes finger blanching, numbness, and pain.

Lack of rest or recovery time

Not allowing the body enough time to rest and recover between repetitive activities can lead to an RSI. Rest and recovery time is crucial for the body to repair and regenerate damaged tissues. When employees do not have enough time to rest or recover between tasks, it can lead to a cumulative effect of micro-injuries that can eventually result in a repetitive strain injury.

Poor ergonomics

Poor ergonomics can be a cause of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) in the workplace. When employees work in an environment that has not been ergonomically designed well, it can cause excessive strain on the muscles, tendons, and nerves.

It is worth noting that many other factors can contribute to the development of an RSI, and the specific causes can vary depending on the individual and their work environment. If you suspect that you have developed an RSI, it is essential to seek medical advice and take steps to address the underlying causes to prevent the injury from getting any worse.

If it can be proven that your employer has failed to take all reasonable measures to prevent you from developing an injury at work, you might have a valid repetitive strain injury claim.

Which job roles are most at risk of RSI?

Any job that requires repetitive or high-intensity motions or awkward positions can put you at risk of developing a repetitive strain injury. However, some jobs are more commonly associated with claims for rsi compensation due to the nature of the work they involve. Here are some examples:

  • Office workers who spend long hours typing on a keyboard or using a mouse are at risk of developing RSIs such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and tennis elbow.
  • Factory workers who work on assembly lines, operate machinery or use power tools are at risk of developing RSIs such as tendonitis, bursitis, and epicondylitis.
  • Healthcare workers who perform repetitive motions such as lifting and transferring patients, typing medical records or using medical equipment are at risk of developing RSIs such as back pain, neck pain, and rotator cuff injuries.
  • Musicians who play instruments for extended periods risk developing RSIs such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis.
  • Athletes who engage in repetitive motions such as throwing, swinging, or running are at risk of developing RSIs such as tennis elbow, runner’s knee, and shin splints.
  • Retail workers: Retail workers who perform tasks such as stocking shelves, scanning items, or operating cash registers for extended periods without breaks are at risk of developing RSIs such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

It is important to note that anyone who engages in repetitive or high-intensity motions or works in an awkward position for extended periods can develop an RSI.

If you developed any type of strain injury and you believe it is due to your employer’s negligence, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. A friendly legal adviser will assess your circumstances and let you know whether you could start a repetitive strain injury claim.

How do you prove repetitive strain injury?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, 7.3 million working days were lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders in 2021/22. Besides physical pain and psychological distress to employees, RSIs also cause significant financial losses to both workers and employers.

According to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and other UK legislation, employers must take all reasonable measures to prevent injuries to employees. Thus, if you suffer an RSI that was caused by performing a work-related duty, you might be entitled to rsi compensation if you can show one of the following:

  • Your work duties directly caused you to develop a strain injury
  • Your work duties aggravated a pre-existing injury

Proving a repetitive strain injury (RSI) can be a challenging task since these injuries develop gradually over time and do not always show up on diagnostic tests. To prove negligence, you need relevant evidence showing that your injury was due to negligence, such as:

  • Working for long hours or performing repetitive tasks without adequate breaks
  • Lack of sufficient training and instructions related to safe working practices
  • Lack of appropriate ergonomic equipment and furniture, such as adjustable chairs or ergonomic keyboards, can lead to RSI
  • Lack of adequate protective equipment while operating vibrating tools or machinery
  • Poorly organised workspaces

If your case has merit, a personal injury solicitor can help you gather all the evidence you need to start a repetitive strain injury claim. This may include:

  • Arranging a free consultation with a medical expert who will examine the affected area and perform tests to confirm the presence of RSI;
  • Collating evidence related to your work history, such as job descriptions, work schedules, and any relevant training or safety manuals;
  • Securing witness testimony from co-workers or supervisors;
  • Referring to an expert witness, such as an ergonomics specialist, who can provide testimony regarding the work environment’s ergonomic conditions and how they contributed to the development of the RSI.

To find out more about how you can prove your repetitive strain injury or start a rsi claim, call 0800 032 3660 today to arrange a free consultation with a legal adviser.

Is there a time limit for making a repetitive strain injury claim?

To be eligible to make a repetitive strain injury compensation claim, your case must be initiated within three years of a diagnosis having been made. A case that is not brought about within this time limit is likely to be unsuccessful unless there are special circumstances.

Solicitors encourage clients to initiate their RSI claim at the earliest opportunity possible. By doing so, this will improve your chance of making a successful claim as it will often be easier to gather the necessary evidence required to support your case. This will also ensure your claim is made within the relevant time limits.

How much compensation can I claim for RSI?

The amount of compensation that you are awarded for your RSI claim will depend on a number of factors. The prime impacts on the amount of damages awarded include:

  • The severity of the condition and the adverse effect that RSI has on your life and ability to carry out tasks that you previously had no problems with.
  • The level of liability that can be proven, i.e. whether the condition was fully caused by your employment or whether the condition was preexisting and made worse by the work you do.

Shoulder Repetitive Strain InjuryThe starting point for solicitors to offer clients a guideline on the amount of compensation that they can expect to receive is with the references given by the Judicial College Guidelines. The guidelines offer benchmarks for how much a client can expect in compensation based on the severity of their symptoms and the impact that the condition has on their lives. This part of the compensation award is known as general damages.

In addition to the above award for the actual pain and suffering you have experienced, a successful injury claim will also entitle you to receive what is known as special damages. This is a secondary amount that is calculated to compensate you for any financial losses you have faced as a direct result of your injury.

Special damages can cover all types of out of pocket expenses, but most commonly can include the following:

  • Loss of wages – the symptoms of your repetitive strain injury may have resulted in you having to take some time off work. If you don’t get paid for this time, or you have been unable to take on overtime work that you would normally do, these lost earnings can be recovered.
  • Future lost earnings – as well as past loss of wages, you can also claim for future losses. For example, if your doctor has advised you to stop working due to your injury, or you can only work reduced hours, you may be able to claim compensation for this.
  • Medical costs – any medical costs that are related to your repetitive strain injury can be included in your claim, whether it be prescription costs, over the counter medication or physiotherapy.
  • Transport costs – if you are unable to drive due to your injury and subsequently have to pay for public transport, taxis or train fares to get to and from medical appointments, these costs are also recoverable.

With all financial losses you will need to provide evidence to support your claim. So it is important to keep receipts, bank statements and wage slips that will confirm your expenses and losses.

If you would like to find out more information about how much compensation your repetitive strain injury may be worth, a free consultation service is the ideal opportunity. This service is provided without any obligation to proceed and is a chance for you to ask any questions you may have about making a claim. 

To arrange your free consultation, call 0800 032 3660 or click here to request a call back.

Making a No Win No Fee claim for RSI

Injury solicitors are pleased to offer clients the ability to utilise their service on a 100% no win, no fee basis. This means that if they are not successful in your compensation claim for repetitive strain injury, you will not be liable to pay for legal costs.

The term no win no fee is used to describe a conditional fee agreement. This is basically the document that contains the terms and conditions that govern the relationship between you the client and your solicitors.

The details of the agreement will always be explained in advance by your solicitor. We think it is important that solicitors provide a transparent service. So by ensuring you have a good understanding of the no win no fee service, you can rest assured that you will never face any hidden fees or financial risk when making your claim.

If your no win no fee RSI claim is unsuccessful, you won’t pay your solicitor a penny.