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Manual laborers face a high risk of repetitive strain injuries

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

For those who perform manual labor, the daily grind often involves repetitive movements and prolonged physical exertion. This makes them particularly susceptible to a range of occupational hazards. Among these, repetitive strain injuries stand out as a prevalent and concerning issue.

This category of injuries results from the consistent repetition of specific movements or the overuse of particular muscle groups. It also poses a notable risk to manual laborers.

Job demands and repetition

Manual labor, by nature, requires performing the same or similar tasks over extended periods. Whether it involves lifting heavy objects, using hand tools or engaging in assembly line work, the consistent repetition of certain motions strains muscles, tendons and joints.

Ergonomics and workplace design

The design of the workplace and the ergonomic considerations within it contribute to the likelihood of manual laborers experiencing RSIs. Poorly designed workspaces and improper tool usage can add to the strain on the body during repetitive tasks. So, too, can the use of inadequate equipment. Recognizing the importance of ergonomic design in minimizing these risks leads to safer work environments.

Physical toll and cumulative impact

The physical toll of repetitive tasks is cumulative. This means that over time, the strain on the body intensifies. The constant repetition of movements without rest and recovery leaves little chance for muscles and joints to recuperate. This raises the risk of RSIs as the body becomes more susceptible to strain-related injuries.

HCAMag.com reports that, in one study, more than 40% of all on-the-job injuries that caused employees to miss work were RSIs or musculoskeletal disorders. Addressing the factors that contribute to RSIs helps protect workers and create healthier, more sustainable work environments.