You were pretty happy when you were offered a job at a popular coffee place in your community. You felt comfortable that you would be working in a safe environment.
After working in this establishment for several months, you noticed that one arm and even your shoulder are sore at the end of the day.
Making and serving coffee as a barista can cause a repetitive stress injury
Standing behind the counter, taking customer orders for coffees and sandwiches or pastries may seem like a comfortable job. Compared to construction or working as a stocker, it may be.
However, you may be standing more than moving around. You may also be making the same motions as you fill customers’ orders. It may not matter whether you are making an espresso or latte — you do the same thing several times in one hour. This can lead to pain.
What a repetitive stress injury can look like
As you do the same things every day that you are working, those pains begin to get worse. You could feel numbness in your wrist, fingers and thumb; they may often tingle. Eventually, you could realize you are losing strength in that hand when you drop a full cup of hot coffee. Finally, you may begin to feel severe pain.
Eventually, you might need to take time off of work so you can give your hand and arm some downtime. As time goes on, this may not be sufficient and you require surgery to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Does Connecticut allow workers’ compensation after a repetitive stress injury?
In most states, workers can receive workers’ compensation after suffering a repetitive stress injury. They do have to show that their injury is related to their daily work duties.
Other states will not cover repetitive stress injuries with workers’ compensation. Check with your employer’s human resources department to find out.