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Are we required to provide treatment for a repetitive strain injury?

Q: I am the health and safety officer at our laboratory and I have recently been notified that one of our workers is complaining of a sore shoulder and arm from repetitive pipetting. I have made the obvious changes and recommendations, such as adjusting her method. I was wondering what obligations we have if physiotherapy or a similar treatment is required.

A: A treatment such as physiotherapy would fall within a workers’ compensation claim for a workplace injury. Unless such a claim is submitted, the cost of the physiotherapy would be borne by the worker. If the injury has got to that extent, however, you may wish to review the processes you have in place that control these types of injuries, such as providing adequate rest breaks.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Workers' compensation for current advice.

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