Repetitive Motion Injuries

Some industries are at a higher risk for repetitive motion injuries, such as construction, office work, and retail. However, workers in almost any occupation may suffer from repetitive motion injuries, and in New Jersey those injuries may be covered by workers’ compensation.

The South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP proudly represent employees throughout the state in repetitive motion injury claims.

What is a Repetitive Motion Injury?

Repetitive motion injuries, also called repetitive strain injuries or cumulative trauma disorders, occur due to repetitive movements of the same body part over time. Symptoms vary depending on the affected body part, but may include pain, tingling, numbness, or reduced utility.

Workers may develop repetitive motion injuries from tasks such as using construction tools, typing on a keyboard, or scanning groceries.

Who is at Risk for Repetitive Motion Injuries?

Workers in various industries may develop repetitive motion injuries from a wide range of repeated job tasks, or holding awkward positions, over time.

Some of the highest risk occupations include:

  • Assembly line workers
  • Athletes
  • Carpenters
  • Construction workers
  • Delivery drivers
  • Grocery store clerks
  • Health care workers
  • Housekeepers
  • Janitors
  • Meat processing workers
  • Musicians
  • Office workers
  • Plumbers
  • Shelf stockers

Common Types of Repetitive Motion Injuries

Injuries caused by repetitive motion may either be temporary or permanent, and may affect the muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons. Most commonly affected parts of the body include the hands, wrists, elbows, and arms. However, other body parts such as the neck, back, hips, and legs may also suffer from repetitive motion.

Some of the most common types of repetitive motion injuries include:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: This typically develops from performing repetitive work tasks such as typing, working on an assembly line, or grasping objects. It may result in injuries ranging from temporary weakness to permanent nerve damage.

Musculoskeletal Disorders: This type of injury affects the blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons. It can happen to any part of the body due to heavy lifting, bending, reaching, pulling, pushing, and working in awkward positions.

Shoulder Injuries: The shoulder is commonly affected by repetitive motion. Two of the most common shoulder injuries are tendonitis, caused by inflammation of the tendon; and bursitis, caused by inflammation of the bursa.

Rotator Cuff Syndrome: This injury commonly affects workers who frequently raise their arms overhead. When the rotator cuff in the shoulder is subject to wear and tear, it can become weaker over time, thus causing further damage.

Epicondylitis: Caused by swelling of the tendons, epicondylitis typically develops among workers who frequently grasp objects, such as carpenters and painters. Treatment typically includes icing the area and physical therapy.

Back Injuries: Chronic lower back pain is a common repetitive motion injury. Factory workers, drivers, and office workers are just some of the types of workers at risk for this type of injury.

Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries

If a tool, piece of equipment, or workplace is poorly designed, workers may suffer repetitive motion injuries as a result. Employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their workplaces. Therefore, they should both identify any workplace hazards that may be causing repetitive motion injuries and develop solutions to reduce or eliminate those hazards.

Ergonomic solutions may include better materials, improved work methods, personal protective equipment (PPE), and training.

Compensation for Preexisting Injuries in New Jersey

Workers with preexisting injuries are not excluded from receiving workers’ compensation. Generally, workers may receive benefits if a work-related injury aggravated their pre-existing condition.

However, these types of cases can be complex, and workers should seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer in their local area. Our South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers are dedicated to helping injured workers successfully navigate the system so they can obtain the compensation to which they are entitled.

South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Help Workers Obtain Benefits for Repetitive Motion Injuries

If you sustained a work-related repetitive motion injury, contact a South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP. We can help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case. From our office conveniently located in Cherry Hill, we represent clients across South Jersey, the City of Camden, and throughout New Jersey. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 856-761-3773.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:
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Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:

Please be advised that in accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, which imposed strict limitations on the operations of "brick-and-mortar" businesses and required telecommuting to the greatest extent possible, all N.J. workers’ compensation courts will continue to be closed to the public and to non-essential court personnel until April 13, 2020.

In response to overwhelming requests from the Workers’ Compensation Bar to hold non-emergent matters electronically or by teleconference, as of April 6, 2020, the following Workers’ Compensation Judges shall be designated by the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation as essential personnel and shall report to their home vicinages for the purpose of hearing as many Workers’ Compensation matters as possible by telephonic conferencing, including all emergent matters and the following non-emergent matters, pre-trial conferences, general motions for medical and temporary benefits, and settlements by affidavit:

Hon. Audrey Kernan, S.J., Atlantic City WC Courthouse
Hon. Arthur Marchand, A.S.J., Bridgeton WC Courthouse
Hon. Ingrid French, A.S.J., Camden WC Courthouse
Hon. Lionel Simon III, A.S.J., Freehold WC Courthouse
Hon. Diana Ferriero, S.J., Hackensack WC Courthouse
Hon. Jill Fader, S.J., Jersey City WC Courthouse
Hon. Glenn Kaplan, S.J., Lebanon WC Courthouse
Hon. Michael Luther, S.J., Mt. Arlington WC Courthouse
Hon. George Geist, S.J., Mt. Holly WC Courthouse
Hon. Ashley Hutchinson, A.S.J., New Brunswick WC Courthouse
Hon. Philip Tornetta, A.S.J., Newark WC Courthouse
Hon. William Roca, S.J., Paterson WC Courthouse
Hon. Maria Del Valle Koch, S.J., Plainfield WC Courthouse
Hon. Eugene Mulvaney, S.J., Toms River WC Courthouse
Hon. David Puma, S.J., Trenton WC Courthouse

The Division’s plan is to limit physical interactions in our workers’ compensation courts to the greatest extent possible and shift to the use of telephone conferencing, and if possible video conferencing for judges, attorneys, and litigants. There will be no in-person Workers’ Compensation Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary benefits and trials in which case social distancing will be enforced). Court offices will remain closed for in-person submissions. Filings will continue to be accepted electronically through COURTS On-line.

The N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation’s number one goal is to limit the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus to court personnel, attorneys and their staff, litigants, witnesses, and members of the public at large.

Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP also continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and its impact on our local community and the world at large. In accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, our office is closed and the members of the firm continue to work remotely. As such, the members of the firm may have limited access to information during this time. We continue to appreciate your understanding. We encourage our current clients, new clients, and fellow members of the bar to contact us via e-mail as that remains the best form of communication. All attorneys and paralegals have access to e-mail and case information. We have designated essential personnel to report to our office for the purpose of handling emergent matters only and to complete essential administrative tasks. Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP remains committed to complying with all health and governmental regulations. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those most affected by this situation.