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Construction workers can suffer repeated stress injuries

When you consider the various kinds of injuries a construction worker could sustain, what usually come to mind are those that involve falls from ladders or electrocution from contact with live overhead wires. However, there are other issues that do not often make the headlines.

A repeated stress injury may take a while to develop, but it can cause lifelong problems. Construction workers are among those whose jobs can cause this kind of injury.

Not always in the wrist

Repetitive stress injuries include conditions like bursitis, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. The latter is quite common, and if you spend a good deal of time on the computer, you may have experienced it. In construction, however, a repeated stress injury might come from repeatedly moving heavy objects, or years spent hauling yourself up and into the cab of an eighteen-wheeler. People who work in the construction industry are likely to have back and shoulder problems as the result of repeated stress.

Cause and effect

If you perform the same kind of work activity on a regular basis, you may develop a repeated stress injury. Causes include:

  • Uninterrupted repetitions of a motion
  • Awkward motions, such as twisting your arm
  • Incorrect posture
  • Overexertion
  • Muscle fatigue

You may develop pain, numbness or a tingling sensation. On the other hand, there may be no visible sign of a repetitive stress injury, but over time, you may find it more difficult to perform a particular task. This kind of injury can cause either temporary or permanent damage to soft tissues like nerves, ligaments and tendons.

A duty to provide for worker safety

Your employer has a duty to provide for your safety. For example, depending on the type of work you do, your employer might have provided you with equipment such as a guard or brace that would have helped to relieve muscle stress. Every situation is different, and a third party may even play a part in the repetitive stress injury you suffered, and you may have a right to recovery above and beyond workers' compensation.

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