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Cycling with an repetitive strain injury.(4 posts)

Cycling with an repetitive strain injury.graham
Nov 12, 2001 5:10 PM
I have recently been diagnosed with a repetitive strain injury due to too much CAD time ploughing around a mouse. The now former employer (they booted me when I suggested it was work related)states that it is my fault due to cycling and not the fact that I have been working 45 hours per week as an engineer. They are about to find out the facts and letter of the law this week when I drag them into a court to make them explain themselves in front of a judge. Interestingly, I can go for a ride and never have a twinge of any pain but put a mouse in hand, peel me off the ceiling in outragous pain within two minutes. The injury is to the tendons with trigger points at the right elbow plus the index, ring and small finger. I have recently noticed an actual twist to the ring finger below the last knuckle that makes the finger mold itself exactly to the shape of the mouse. The dickhead employer is attempting to deny that the injury is a work related problem. They are sleezing their way with around not paying for workmans comp or a disability. They are going to claim that the injury was pre existing from a prior employer and from a minor bike fall several years ago. Any suggestions or experiences from the readers would be great.
re: Cycling with an repetitive strain injury.Coluber
Nov 12, 2001 10:19 PM
What a bummer! It sounds to me like your former employer is trying to scare you out of actually taking them to court; unless you only worked there a short time, and had a similar job before that, it doesnt sound like they have a leg to stand on. Especially if they fired you the minute you suggested that your pain was work-related. Computer-related repetitive stress injuries, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, etc. are common, which is why there is such a huge market for ergonomic computer equipment. Speaking of which, not to blame you, but it seems to me that it would have been a good idea to find a more ergonomic alternative to a mouse as soon as you started having any discomfort; your company might even have paid for it, as it is a) important for a safe and healthy working environment and b) likely to help them somewhat if you ever take them to court for a repetitive stress injury. I don't know about the specific policies, but you may even be able to use it against them that they didn't address your concern. But even if they hadn't paid for it, it would still have been a good idea to buy more ergonomic devices yourself. After all, what's a couple of hundred bucks compared to avoiding injury? I assume that if you're being treated for your injury you are also addressing the conditions that caused it in your work routine; if not, you should do so as soon as possible. Try different alternatives to mice, such as ergonomically designed trackballs, etc, and also take a look at your posture when you work, etc. They may be able to find some 'expert' or other who can find some excuse to tell the judge it was a cycling injury, but I doubt any such argument would hold much weight given how common this type of injury is. Good luck!
re: Cycling with an repetitive strain injury.nn23
Nov 13, 2001 11:34 AM
It's a pity that your co should try to screw you this way after you get RSI. Although I can't suggest on what to do about your employeer, to avoid RSI I usually switch the mouse over to my left hand at the first signs of strain. You may also want to switch the L and R button functions. Its more natural that way, and prevents you from reaching out w/ your right hand. Then keep it that way for a few days (or probably weeks in your case). It takes only a few minutes to get a reasonable hang of things. Another good side effect is that it leaves your right hand free for other stuff.
Went to court todagraham22
Nov 14, 2001 3:02 PM
The bastards! I went to court today to force the former employeer to state why it denies the work related injury and thus will not pay on a Workman's Comp. Despite the overwhelming medical evidence in my favor, they got off on a technicality. The case will be continued in four months! They did the most outragously slimey thing I could possible think of to create an air of doubt. They found a resume that was mass e-mailed to them by a shady headhunter with a bogus work history that included that I was currently working and not disabled at all! I tried to stop the shit head attorney from using to highly erronous info but the judge allowed them to use it as evidence! WTF? I called the headhunter and he denies involvment and will not appologize. Time for another suit it seems... The bastards, all of them.