RSI in the Workplace
Repetitive Stress Injuries, also known as RSI, are an unfortunate by-product of certain industry jobs. For example, plantar fasciitis can result from standing long hours on hard surfaces.
The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Law does provide compensation for repetitive stress injuries in the form of:
1. paying medical expenses
2. paying wage loss benefits ONLY if the injury results in a loss of time from work.
Recently we handled a case of an Amtrak police officer who sustained a debilitating foot injury after being assigned extensive overtime on foot patrol on the hard marble floors of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Because this client was an employee of a Federal railroad, his case was handled under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), rather than Pennsylvania Workers Compensation.
After working overtime for several months, our client developed an RSI — plantar fasciitis. According to Dr. Yarnell, DPM, “This is very painful and caused by over abuse of the thick, long band of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot running from the ball of the foot to the heel. While there are multiple influences on this condition, excessive stress will make this unbearable when standing, walking and getting up in the morning.”
Dr. Yarnell advises “Proper exercise and stretching, rest, ice and elevation, along with wearing appropriate shoe gear, will help eliminate this injury in the work place.” Employers should be aware of the risks of Repetitive Stress Injuries to their employees and where applicable:
1. Allow reasonable breaks during the work day.
2. Provide ergonomic and safe equipment.