Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD)
Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common type of reported work-related illnesses to employers. Work related upper limb disorder (WRULD) is a broad diagnosis used to cover many different types of soft tissue and vascular injuries including carpel tunnel syndrome, hand arm vibration syndrome, tennis elbow, trigger finger, tendonitis and many more.
Many jobs and workplaces require employees to carry out repetitive or forceful work, to adopt prolonged awkward postures or to be exposed to significant levels of vibration, which are potentially hazardous to their health. Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees and to ensure that their work station is risk assessed, adequate breaks are given for rest and recovery, job rotation, personal protective equipment and training.
A wide variety of employees can be affected by WRULD, from heavy manual factory workers and check out operators to carpenters to office workers. The key tasks which may lead to WRULD are heavy lifting, repetitive movements, the adoption of awkward postures and exposure to significant levels of vibration for prolonged periods of time.
Typical symptoms include pain, discomfort, weakness, pins and needles, numbness, swelling, a burning sensation, blanching of the fingers or other similar symptoms arising in the soft tissues of the fingers, hand, wrist, arm and shoulder. Those symptoms may be caused by work or exacerbated by it.
Recent research published by the Economic and Social Research Unit (ESRI) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) indicates that musculoskeletal disorders were by far the most common work related injury in Ireland together with stress, anxiety and depression between 2001 and 2014. Overall, the health sector was found to have the highest amount of work absences. Work-related fatalities were highest in the agriculture, forest and fishing industries.
As WRULD can often be prevented or minimised by good working practices, employees should seek specialist legal advice. In addition, the sufferer may also be entitled to social welfare benefits for certain prescribed diseases.
At Sellors, we have the experience and expertise to know what positive action to take to make a difference. We fight fearlessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you no matter what the circumstances. We will support you on your journey of recovery and rehabilitation from injury. We are there for you, as long as you need us, long after the settlement of your case.
For more information on WRULD, please contact Ronan Hynes, Partner or a member of our Serious Injury Team on 061 432 348 or by email at [email protected].