Employment attorneys are warning of growing employer liability for so-called “BlackBerry thumb.” The repetitive-stress injuries to employees’ hands and thumbs result from overuse of personal digital assistants, or PDAs. As a work-related injury, this condition can give rise to workers’ compensation claims.
Advice: Prevent the injury by passing on some tips and suggested exercises to employees. The American Physical Therapy Association suggests that PDA users:
- Write fewer and shorter messages and learn to abbreviate.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Try to avoid “thumb-typing.” Use other fingers, too.
- Place a support in your lap, if possible, so wrists are not flexed or bent while typing. Then, plug the BlackBerry into a full-size keyboard when using it at the office.