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Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) affect 1.8 million workers per year in the United States and cost employers and insurers between $17 billion and $20 billion annually. There are more than 100 disorders categorized as RSIs and they account for 30% of all injuries that result in time away from work.

Repetitive stress injuries have long been prevalent in factories and other blue-collar jobs due to the repetitive nature of the work. For the past 30 years, keyboards have been standard tools used by millions of employees, making RSIs common among white-collar workers. They aren’t “small” injuries. Repetitive stress injuries can cause workers to lose days or months away from work, or even suffer permanent disability.

If you have developed an injury you believe was caused by repetitive motion in your employment, you might be wondering if your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation. We can help you figure it out.

At the Law Office of Michael J. Orlando, the only type of cases we handle are workers’ compensation claims. After spending more than a decade as an insurance adjuster, auditor, and supervisor, attorney Michael J. Orlando decided to put that experience to work on the other side of the courtroom, representing injured workers in Beaverton, Oregon, and in Eugene, Salem, and Portland and throughout the state.

What is a Repetitive Stress Injury?

Musculoskeletal disorders involve the muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. Repetitive stress injuries are musculoskeletal disorders, caused by recurrent use or improper use.

Among the most prevalent repetitive stress injuries are:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Bursitis

  • Tendonitis

  • Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

  • Tenosynovitis

  • Ganglion cysts

  • Trigger finger

Repetitive stress injuries occur frequently in the hands, fingers, elbows, shoulders, wrists, and thumbs; however, they may also involve the back, neck, hips, knees, feet, legs, or ankles.

Symptoms include site pain, site or radiating tingling, numbness, visible swelling or redness, or loss of strength, range, and flexibility.

Those most at risk for RSIs work in factories, meatpacking plants, carpentry, gardening, play musical instruments, sew, use computers, or play certain sports such as tennis. If your job requires you to position yourself or repeat the same motion over and over, you are at risk for RSI.



Can I File a Workers' Compensation Claim for an RSI?

Workers’ compensation claims do not need to arise from a single incident, for example, a fall from scaffolding at a construction site. Although RSIs develop over time, they develop due to the repetitive nature of your job or because your employer has failed to provide you with the ergonomic support you need to avoid such injuries.

You will need to prove that the RSI was caused by the work you do and not by hobbies, sports, or other activities you participate in outside of your employment. A seasoned Oregon workers’ compensation attorney can help document the evidence you need to support a claim.

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?

Because RSIs don’t occur all at once but over time, it is extremely important to file a claim against a current or former employer in a timely manner. You should report the injury to your employer right away and complete the appropriate form. Your employer has five days to submit the completed form to the workers’ compensation insurer. If you see a doctor about your injury, tell them you believe it is related to activity at work. You and your doctor can complete a Health Care Provider’s Report which will be submitted to the insurer within 72 hours. The insurer has 60 days from the date the employer notified them to respond to the claim.

What Types of Benefits Can I Seek?

Depending upon the nature and extent of your injury, you can pursue two broad categories of benefits, Temporary Disability and Permanent Disability. In either category, your disability may be partial or total. In addition to payment for your medical treatment and rehabilitation from the date of reported injury until you are medically stationary, your employer will be required to pay weekly benefits based on the level of disability, the number of weeks allowed, and your current wage.

You Don’t Have To Face This Process Alone

Oregon’s workers’ compensation process is designed so that injured employees can navigate a claim on their own. However, even the state’s Workers’ Compensation Division recommends that employees consult with a workers’ compensation attorney. Insurance companies want to deny claims to increase profits. That is an easier task for them when injuries are caused by repetitive stress rather than a single traumatic event.

Oregon’s standard for work-related injuries is high. Compensable injuries must be the major contributing cause of the condition. This can be challenging to provide with some repetitive stress injuries, especially when they may be accompanied by pre-existing conditions such as arthritis. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney understands the requirements for compensation and the medical documentation necessary to meet the standard.


Having worked in the insurance industry and dedicating our law practice to workers’ compensation clients, the Law Office of Michael J. Orlando is uniquely qualified to provide knowledgeable representation to workers with repetitive stress and other injuries. If you live or work in Beaverton, Oregon, or anywhere in the state including Eugene, Salem, or Portland and you have suffered a work-related injury, call today to discuss your claim. Reporting injuries right away is key so don’t delay. Call our office today for help!