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Vibration and workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2015 | Uncategorized |

Minnesota workplaces may contain vibration hazards. Although vibration is not necessarily immediately harmful to those who work around it or with it, over time it can cause serious injuries. However, due to the gradual nature of harm from vibration, it may not always be clear that an injury resulted directly from a particular source. This means that it may sometimes be more challenging to collect on a workers’ compensation claim for a vibration-related injury.

Authorities on the issue sort occupational vibration exposure into two categories. The first is hand-arm exposure, and the second is whole-body exposure. Hand-held tools have been noted as a common source of hand-arm vibration exposure and injury. This type of vibration can lead to symptoms from carpal tunnel syndrome to the loss of fingertips. The strength of the vibration and the amount of time that the employee spends in contact with it are both factors in these sorts of injuries.

The second category, whole-body vibration exposure, most commonly affects drivers and operators of heavy machinery. Engines, vehicles and other such devices that shake the whole person can cause problems anywhere in the body, but lower back pain and other symptoms relating to the spine are the most often encountered. The Journal of the American Medical Association released a statement claiming that whole-body vibration causes more pain, injury, and lost production than may be commonly known.

Any workplace accident should be fully compensated by the business. However, as harm from vibration may be subtle and difficult to detect, there may be controversy between the injured employee and their employer as to exactly how much of the harm came from workplace exposure. An attorney may be able to help an injured employee prove that their damage came from their occupation.