Disability Prevention in the Spotlight

Sometimes, it’s working all by itself that can lead to injury and even a long term disability, leaving workers to work through insurance claims and more on their own and that’s just wrong. The Ontario Federation of Labour is calling for regulations to help prevent what it’s calling a growing epidemic of repetitive strain injuries (RSI) or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

RSI and MSD are catchall terms that can be used for either acute injuries or chronic conditions that typically affect the upper body – wrists, arms, shoulders, neck – and lower back. These conditions can result from many different kinds of work, including both factory and office jobs, and they involve real damage to muscles, tendons and nerves that causes pain and can reduce mobility. It can affect a worker’s everyday life and ability to do everyday tasks.

It’s not just an abstract concept. According to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) statistics, about 40% of all injury claims that result in time off work are caused by RSIs or MSDs. As with any figure, it’s estimated that the actual number of cases is larger than those specifically reported.

What can be done?

The guiding principle of any working arrangement should be to fit the work to the worker – but in some cases the opposite is true. There are many things that can be done to mitigate workplace issues, including:

  • Ergonomics – i.e. designing the workspace for the specific individual to prevent awkward physical exertion that can lead to RSIs or MSDs.
  • Work organization – designing work processes to minimize or eliminate issues before they start.
  • Education – informing workers of their rights along with the proper way to accomplish tasks in order to avoid injury.

Prevention is the Best Cure, But…

Prevention is of course the best cure for RSIs and MSDs but if you should find yourself disabled due to this type of injury, you may well find that your insurance company is hesitant to pay. Because there are no specific tests and often no visible sign of repetitive strain injuries, you may find yourself subjected to a lengthy process of medical investigations.

  • You buy disability insurance or pay for group insurance enrollment to protect you in this kind of situation – what can you do if they want to delay and deny? Let us help. Call the experienced disability insurance lawyers at Petrillo Law.

We Focus On Personal Injury & Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Petrillo Law has been providing competent, caring legal advice to disability insurance clients in Mississauga, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and across Ontario for over 20 years. We can evaluate a case to determine whether it meets the provincial threshold required to start a lawsuit as well as represent injured people who have been denied accident benefits by their own insurance company.

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