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Definition of Occupational Injury

An occupational injury, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is any wound or damage to the body that results from an event in the work environment. It may be an accidental injury or event that occurs at a definite place and time at work. However, occupational injury may refer to an injury that results from repetitive trauma, repetitive acts or repetitive exposure of some kind that may come from different physical, biological or psychological factors that a worker encounters in doing their particular job, that are present in their work conditions or environment or are encountered in the course of employment. This may involve vibrations, sustained or awkward postures or positions, forceful exertions, repetitive tasks or mechanical compression.

There are several examples of occupational injury that results from repetitive trauma, repetitive acts or repetitive exposure. Some of these are:

  • Carpal or tarsal tunnel syndrome from repeated motions
  • Back injury, hernia, herniated disc and other injuries from repeated lifting of heavy objects
  • Loss of hearing from repeated exposure to harmful, industrial noise
  • Tendonitis from repeated motions
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome from repetitive stress and strain
  • Frozen shoulder syndrome from repetitive stress and strain
  • Musculoskeletal disorders from repeated motions or actions.
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