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Workers’ comp trend: ‘BlackBerry thumb’ injuries

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

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.  

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