Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Claims Guide
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) isn’t always front of mind in workplace safety measures, but employers have an obligation to protect you from it all the same. If you believe you have developed RSI due to an employer’s negligence, contact a specialist workers compensation injury lawyer to make a claim.
What is a repetitive strain injury (RSI)?
RSI, or repetitive strain injury, is an umbrella term for muscular and soft tissue conditions caused by repeated activity. Some of the more well-known varieties include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)
- Herniated discs
These conditions generally develop over long periods of time spent doing seemingly harmless repetitive tasks, but they can become debilitating and prevent you from working. In severe cases, they can also interfere with daily activities such as driving, getting changed, or walking.
What are the main causes of RSI?
RSI can occur in any occupation, but it’s especially common in industries that have the following risks:
- Heavy lifting
- Use of vibrating tools, such as power drills
- Assembly line work
- Machinery operation
- Forceful activities
- Poor ergonomic conditions
- Exposure to cold temperatures
- Sustained physical activity with few breaks
If these risks are not countered by safe working conditions, proper training, and protective equipment, RSI is a very real possibility.
Is repetitive strain injury a disability?
To be classed as a disability and be eligible for TPD (total or permanent disability compensation), your RSI must be severe enough to prevent you from working and earning an income. This is determined on a case by case basis.
What jobs are at high risk of RSI?
Any job that requires you to make a repeated motion and/or maintain the same posture for hours at a time is at risk of RSI. This is particularly applicable to careers such as:
- Truck driving
- Retail work
- Warehouse and logistics work
- Agricultural work
- Office jobs
Can you claim workers compensation for RSI?
If you believe you have developed RSI at the fault of your employer, you are entitled to claim for workers compensation. This can provide you with:
- TPD compensation: A lump sum payment
- Income support: Regular payments that make up for your inability to earn income.
What treatments can be claimed for repetitive strain injury?
Your RSI compensation should fund all the medical treatments you need to get back into the workplace or at least recover to a comfortable level of daily functioning. This could include:
- Occupational therapy: Working with a specialist to get back in the habit of performing daily or employment-related tasks. An occupational therapist can also help you optimise your home or work environment to minimise the risk of further strain.
- Physiotherapy: Movement-related therapy specifically designed to re-engage damaged muscles. This can include treatments such as stretching, light exercises, and massage.
- Remedial massage: Therapeutic massage that reduces inflammation and muscle soreness.
- Exercise physiology: Exercise-based treatments that aim to get you moving again before returning to the workplace.
What are the time limits when claiming RSI?
Like other workers compensation claims, RSI claims generally need to be made within three years. This could be three years after you were forced to cease work or three years since the injury first appeared.
In some cases, RSI can take longer than three years to reach a point where it impedes on your life. Extension periods make it possible to claim after this point.
We recommend consulting with a specialist workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible to secure the best chance at a successful claim.
Make a Workers Compensation claim today
LHD Lawyers help everyday Australians receive the benefits they are entitled to for workers compensation claims. We are so sure of our abilities to win your case that we stand firmly by our No Win No Fee Policy. Call 1800 838 481 to arrange a consultation.