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Industrial Disease Claims

Repetitive Strain Injury Claims

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a term that refers to a number of different soft tissue injuries that are caused by the repetition of an action or trauma. It's a common risk for workers in a lot of different jobs, and if you've been diagnosed with RSI that you think was caused by your work, our solicitors could help you claim compensation.

RSI has a wide range of causes, and can result in serious pain as well as numbness, tingling, weakness and loss of dexterity in the affected joint or limb, making simple tasks like fastening clothing difficult. More serious RSIs in specific areas of your limbs can also result in tendonitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome (in the hand or wrist) or ulnar neuropathy (in the elbow and forearm). The most types of RSI claims we handle are due to:

  • Repeated use of vibrating tools
  • Using a computer or holding a phone for long periods
  • Poorly designed workspaces that don't allow you to work comfortably
  • Heavy manual lifting
  • Operating machinery

Essentially, just about any repetitive movement or overuse of a certain muscle could cause RSI, should you not have been given protective equipment or been allowed regular breaks from the repetitive motion.

Our lawyers have a proven track record in securing RSI compensation in claims of all kinds, most notably the British Coal Vibration White Finger (VWF) cases. We aim to make the claims process as simple as possible for you, handling every aspect of your case and offering expert advice in plain English. Claiming against your employer can be a daunting prospect, and we'll support you every step of the way.

Contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation. We’ll advise on whether we think you can claim and discuss your options.

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Lead firm in the British Coal VWF cases
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  • Mark Allen
  • Associate Director
Meet the team
Repetitive Strain Injury Claims - More Information
    • How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
    • How much compensation you receive after a work-related illness will depend on a few factors related to your illness, its circumstances, and the support and rehabilitation you need.

      The amount of compensation you could claim is based on:

      • Current and future loss of earnings
      • Medical and travel expenses you've had to pay
      • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
      • Modifications to your home
      • Mobility aids
      • Your pain and suffering

      For more information, call us on 0800 056 4110 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • Usually you need to make a compensation claim within three years of becoming aware that your illness might be linked to your work.

      In fatal cases, the family of the deceased has three years to make a claim, starting from either the date your loved one died, or the date you received the post-mortem results.

      If your illness occurred while working outside of the UK, then the time limit can be shorter. In this instance, it's vital that you contact us as soon as possible.

      If you have any concerns or questions about the time limit for claiming compensation, call our team today on 0800 056 4110 for free initial advice and to talk through your options.

    • Can I Get Early Compensation Payments?
    • Early compensation payments, also known as interim payments, are made in advance of any final settlement. They’re only made in an agreement with your opponent, if they admit that they're responsible for your illness.

      Interim payments can be used to replace lost earnings, so you can afford to pay essential bills if your illness has meant you’ve been absent from work, as well as covering the cost of specialist medical care or mobility equipment.

      We'll work hard to get an early admission of fault, and also to obtain early compensation payments to relieve any immediate financial pressures you’re feeling.

    • Will I Lose My Job If I Claim Against My Employers?
    • If you wish to make a claim against your current employer, then any compensation would be paid by their insurer. It has been compulsory to have insurance for many years, so it’s highly likely that they will have this in place. There are also legal safeguards in place to protect you from unfair dismissal.

      This basically means that your employer must be able to justify their reason for dismissing you in relation to your claim, which is highly unlikely. If you want to discuss this subject in more detail, our workplace illness solicitors will be able to talk you through your rights and what you can expect.

If I did not understand anything, I would just ask him to explain things and he would explain it all to me.”

Peter, client

Frequently Asked Questions

How Should My Employer Have Protected Me From The Risk Of RSI?

Employers have a duty of care to their employees, and must protect them from health risks in the workplace under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Repetitive strain injuries are avoidable if best practice is followed, and employers should:

  • Make sure that risks from repetitive tasks are controlled
  • Provide information and instruction on the risk
  • Monitor your health in relation to the risk
  • Provide you with protective equipment, such as gloves or wrist supports, if required
  • Give you the opportunity to take breaks from work involving repetitive motions

Being able to take breaks is perhaps the most important factor – whether it's a leisure break, or simply being rotated onto a different task.

The HSE advises, for example, that computer users should take a break of five to ten minutes away from their display screen equipment (DSE) every hour. Hammer-action tools like drills shouldn’t be used for longer than 15 minutes at a time, while other vibrating tools begin to create a risk after an hour of use.

There are many ways that your employer's negligence could have put you at risk, such as:

  • Not providing you with information and training on the activities that can cause RSI
  • Not giving you guidance on how to set up DSE correctly
  • Not providing you with protective equipment
  • Not giving you the opportunity to take breaks

This is particularly true if you've requested these things and been denied them. If you’re unsure, contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation on your case, and we’ll be able to advise you.

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Which Jobs Have The Biggest Risk Of RSI, And Which Conditions Are Most Common?

Many jobs carry the risk of RSI, particularly any that involve extended use of a computer. Other workers that may be at risk of RSI include:

  • Assembly line workers
  • Machinists and hand-tool operators
  • Garment workers
  • Warehouse packers
  • Call centre workers

However, this list isn't exhaustive. Any job that involves repetitive actions that consistently put strain on particular muscles can cause RSI – even something as simple as typing, holding a phone, or regular heavy lifting.

"Repetitive strain injury" is a catch-all term for a number of different injuries, but is also used when damage isn't limited to a specific tendon, nerve or muscle. Conditions linked to RSI include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects the hand and wrist
  • Ulnar neuropathy, which affects the elbow and forearm
  • Vibration white finger, which affects the hand and arm
  • Bursitis, which affects the knees and elbows
  • Epicondilitis (tennis elbow)
  • Tendonitis, which can occur in just about any part of the body with tendons that flex
  • Rotator cuff syndrome, which affects the shoulders

If you regularly carry out repetitive tasks at work, and have been experiencing symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling, weakness and loss of dexterity in your limbs, you may be able to claim compensation for RSI. Contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation on your case, and we’ll be able to advise you.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For An RSI Claim?

As one of the largest personal injury firms in the UK, we have extensive experience in handling workplace illness claims. We were the lead firm in the British Coal Vibration White Finger cases, one of the highest profile repetitive strain injury claims in recent years. We’ve also helped employees in a wide range of industries and roles claim compensation for injuries, accidents and illnesses caused by an employer’s negligence.

We understand that making a claim for compensation against your employer can seem daunting, which is why we aim to make the claims process as simple as possible for you, supporting you every step of the way. Remember, your employer can't dismiss you just for pursuing compensation without good reason – something that is, in our experience, incredibly rare – so don't be put off making a claim.

If your employer has gone out of business, you may be wondering if you can even make a claim. Your claim is actually made against your employer or former employer's insurer, and we may be able to track them down if the company in question isn't trading anymore.

We act on behalf of members of a number of trade unions, but we can still help you make a claim if you're not a member of one. Our solicitors specialise in helping people claim for work-related conditions, and want to make sure that you receive the best compensation possible, as well as receive the medical care that you need to help you cope with your injuries.

To find out more about how to claim for a repetitive strain injury, and how we can help, call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation about your claim.

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We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK


"The lawyers are heavyweight individuals in a big firm, but they never compromise on client care. They handle cases with striking compassion and insight."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

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Rehabilitation means different things to different people. For some it’s being able to return to work, while for others it’s being able to become more independent around the house. Our personal injury solicitors are here for you whatever your situation is, and you can be reassured that we’ll help you access the care and support you need to make the best recovery possible.

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