How should an employer handle a repetitive motion injury?

By: Victoria Edwards, Esq.

Victoria Edwards, Esq.

In manufacturing jobs many times employees are required to perform the same motion repeatedly or maintain certain body positions or grips, which can result in repetitive motion injuries. Under the Workers' Compensation Act, an injury need not be pinpointed to a specific event or definable incident, so long as the injury arises in the course of employment. Pennsylvania Courts have held that an injury may have resulted from the cumulative effect from the work duties. Many cases come down to differentiating between repetitive motion injuries and degenerative conditions associated with aging. When an employee reports a repetitive motion injury, an employer should immediately document and file a report of injury and notify their insurance carrier. An independent medical examination is also essential to provide a potential basis to deny the claim. Additionally, have an employee be prepared to testify regarding steps taken to ensure that the work station was ergonomic and to address other mitigating factors.


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