October 2013

Downfall to Specialization?

October 13, 2013, by Michael A. DeMayo

It can’t happen to me, right? When I hear people talk about a workplace injury, I am relieved that I work in safe place where nothing like that could ever happen to me.  If this summarizes your perception of a workplace injury and subsequent Worker’s Compensation claim, you’re not alone.  Several of the many claims that get presented before the North Carolina Industrial Commission each year arise from the exact same mindset.  All too often, we simplify our assumption of what hazards at work include and prematurely, dismiss any possible concerns for our own safety as those hazards not encompassing us.  The truth of the matter is an unfortunate reality that surprises many workers in North Carolina each year.

Fortunately for us, the North Carolina Industrial Commission recognizes that injuries at work don’t have to come from a large machine, heavy equipment or even a sloppy risk management plan.  Sometimes workplace injuries can occur from doing the same activity time and time again.  The repetitive motion that a worker performs can give way to permanent injuries that leave you out of work.  The signs of a repetitive motion injury are not as obvious as those that happen in one sudden instance because they are gradual and part of your everyday responsibility.  This manifest itself in the Charlotte and Mooresville region just as it would in any other part of the country where people are asked to perform specialized tasks.

Take a factory that produces ink pens for example.  Because I know nothing about how to make ink pens, let’s improvise on the procedural aspect.  Person A hands the hollow plastic shell that protects the “ink stick” to person B.  Person B slides the “ink stick” into the hollow plastic shell.  Think about the physical aspect of this very simple act.  Person A uses his hand and arm and turns slightly right to pass off the plastic shell to the person next to him and turns back towards the assembly line.  Imagine doing that fifty to sixty times per minute.  Now imagine performing the same task for an hour.  Now four hours.  Now eight hours.  Now imagine that over the course of years.  After a few years Person A may have a problem with their joints or worse and is no longer able to perform the same task.  The immediate assumption may be to dismiss it as age or fatigue; however, this could be a detrimental mistake.  Think about your tasks at work and consider if the repetitive task and the injuries may be related.  This can be even more difficult than recognizing the injuries early enough to stop it.  If you believe you have suffered from a repetitive motion injury at work, call the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo right now.  You owe it to yourself and your family if you’re unable to work.  Call us at 877-333-1000.  You can even request a free case evaluation at www.demayolaw.com in minutes.