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Repetitive stress injuries affect 1.8 million workers a year

Repetitive stress injuries are a growing concern in the American workforce, affecting employees across various industries. These injuries can have serious consequences for both workers and employers.

Also known as musculoskeletal disorders, RSIs are a group of conditions that result from the repetitive and forceful use of certain muscles and tendons. Common RSIs include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and bursitis. They typically develop over time and are often the result of activities that involve repetitive motion, such as typing, assembly line work or using tools.

The impact on workers

RSIs can cause severe physical pain and discomfort for affected workers. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, numbness and tingling in the affected areas. These issues can make it challenging to perform daily work tasks and can reduce a worker’s quality of life.

Workers suffering from RSIs may also experience decreased productivity due to their limited ability to perform their job tasks effectively. This can lead to decreased job satisfaction and potential conflicts with employers.

The financial burden of RSIs is another significant concern. Medical expenses, rehabilitation and time off work for treatment can lead to financial strain for workers. Some may even face long-term disability, impacting their earning potential.

The impact on employers

RSIs can lead to increased absenteeism, as affected workers may require time off to recover or undergo medical treatment. This can disrupt the workflow and increase the workload on other employees.

Employers may also experience reduced efficiency when workers with RSIs are unable to perform at their full capacity. This can result in longer lead times, errors and increased operational costs.

According to HealthDay, almost a third of all workplace injuries that lead to lost workdays are repetitive stress injuries. To mitigate the impact of RSIs on the American workforce, employers can take proactive measures, such as providing ergonomic workstations, conducting regular workplace assessments and offering training on proper body mechanics and posture.