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Are there any regulations about repetitive motion injury?

The term "repetitive stress" in connection with workplace injury may bring to mind people who sit at their desks typing all day developing carpal tunnel syndrome in their hands and wrists, but repetitive motion injury, the term that the California Department of Industrial Relations uses, encompasses many more kinds of work-related injuries. So much so that the department has issued regulations governing what employers must do to reduce the frequency of the occurrence of repetitive motion injuries.

The regulation in question is found in the California Code of Regulations, which requires companies to take specific actions when in any 12-month period two or more employees have experienced a repetitive motion injury connected with a particular job function. The problem must be medically diagnosed by a qualified physician as a musculoskeletal injury. Once this threshold is met, then the employer must take actions to address the conditions that contribute to the injury. These include worksite evaluations and minimization if not correction of the exposures that lead to the injury, and employee training.

Some of the corrective measures that employers can take include:

  • workstation redesign
  • job rotation
  • adjusting the pacing of work, or implementing work breaks

Aside from an employer's affirmative duty to correct workplace environments that produce multiple repetitive motion injuries, such injuries are also covered by California workers' compensation benefits. Any employee whose employer participates in the workers' compensation insurance system and who needs assistance with filing a benefits claim for a work-related injury or illness can consult with a law firm that practices in workers' compensation law for help.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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