Janitorial and housekeeping staff members work in many job settings, such as hospitals, hotels, office buildings, schools, day care centers, retail stores, factories and other businesses. Their job duties are repetitive, and many in these industries can suffer workplace musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), which can damage their muscles, tendons, and bones over time.
These injuries can cause chronic pain and movement limitations that prevent employees
from being able to perform their job duties
and ultimately, reduce their quality of life.
Causes of Job-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders
Housekeeping and janitorial work is physically demanding, often involving mopping, dusting, vacuuming, polishing floors, washing windows, and performing other physical tasks throughout the day. While a WMSD injury can occur from a single accident, such as overexertion or an assault, most are caused by repetitious movements over an extended period of time.
Some of the common reasons workers suffer these injuries include:
- Insufficient rest times
- Awkward movements, such as stooping, reaching, and crouching
- Overexertion caused by lifting and carrying heavy loads
- Wringing actions
- Gripping and squeezing vacuum, mop, and broom handles
- Working in cramped spaces
- Unmaintained or poorly-designed cleaning equipment that vibrates
Over months and years, these actions can overwork muscles and tendons and cause inflammation of the surrounding tissues.
Common Musculoskeletal Injuries
Workplace musculoskeletal injuries are also referred to as cumulative trauma disorders and repetitive strain injuries. They typically affect an individual's shoulders, back, neck, arms, wrist, hands, fingers, and knees.
Here are the most reported injuries:
- Tendonitis. This is inflammation of the tendons and typically occurs in those surrounding the knees, hips, shoulders, wrists, and elbows. It can cause tenderness and extreme pain.
- Bursitis. Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, which are sacs filled with fluid that cushion the muscles. It most commonly affects the joints in the knees and shoulders. Symptoms can include joint pain, swollen and red joints, and inability to move a joint.
- Carpel tunnel syndrome. This condition is caused by pressure on the median nerve that runs down the forearm to the hand. Someone with carpel tunnel experiences debilitating tingling, numbness, or weakness in the fingers or hand.
If you believe your musculoskeletal injury was caused by your job as a janitor or housekeeper, call us. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are available to explain your options for obtaining benefits and fight for what you deserve. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.