RSI Claim Approved for Ice Cream Scooper in Canada — North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Analysts Look at Controversial Case

November 24, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

While most North Carolina workers’ compensation analysts probe the local news for instructive stories, sometimes blogs look to international sources to find the most compelling news. And a case out of Toronto – reported by the Vancouver Sun – has many in the North Carolina workers’ compensation community talking. An Alberta tribunal has ordered workers’ comp payments for a convenient store worker who suffered serious shoulder injuries from scooping hard ice cream. According to the Sun’s report, the woman had to serve up an enormous quantity of orders in a short period of time during a heat spell in April 2009. The Appeal Board noted that “the activity required considerable force with her right hand and arm in a twisting motion because the ice cream was frozen hard…the total sale of ice cream cones [for a 2 day period] was $1,500.”

The woman had been treated for a shoulder injury prior to working at the ice cream store and had rectified that injury through the use of cortisone shots. But the ice cream scooping reinjured her shoulder so badly that she needed surgery on her rotator cuff to deal with the flare up. The Sun’s article quoted an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Stephen Reed, who argued that ice cream scooping is indeed a dangerous activity. Dr. Reed said “they are forced to do this basically at arm’s length, reaching into a large cabinet…it’s basically poor ergonomics, and they are doing it repetitively.”

Repetitive strain injuries due to manual labor, such as ice cream scooping, typing, or repetitive lifting, can cause lasting damage to muscles, fascia, ligaments, and other soft tissue. More frustratingly, the full extent of the damage may take weeks or months to reveal itself. By the time an injured employee notices what’s been happening, it may be too late to reverse the problems easily.

If you or someone you love or work with has been sidelined with a repetitive stress injury or other workplace injury, either chronic or acute, you can benefit tremendously from consulting with a qualified North Carolina workers’ compensation firm. By exploring your rights as a potential claimant, you can collect compensation for things like your lost wages and medical bills. Moreover, you can simplify the process, focus your limited resources on healing from your injuries and getting back to work (or finding new work), and holding reluctant employers or insurance companies fully accountable.

More Web Resources:

Scooping hard ice cream can be hazardous to your health

RSI resources


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