Can I Receive Workers’ Comp for Barista Wrist Injuries?

“Barista wrist” is a form of repetitive stress injury (RSI) – and it’s a serious problem for many restaurant workers, particularly in the coffee shop and café world. Because baristas spend so much time turning handles and using their hands in repetitive ways, it’s all too easy for these workers to sustain a crippling RSI and require time away from work.

Thankfully, most employers in the state of Georgia are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover on-the-job injuries. In some cases, this can include a repetitive stress injury, provided that the injury was truly caused by the nature of the job itself.

At Herbert Chestnut & Associates, our experienced workers’ comp lawyers can help you navigate the process of filing an RSI claim with an insurance provider. Although it may seem overwhelming to file a claim, workers’ compensation is a benefit that will allow you to focus on resting and recovering, rather than worrying about your medical bills. Let us help you pursue a fair recovery today.

The Dangers of Barista Wrist

Although the term “barista wrist” may not sound that serious, a comprehensive report on repetitive stress injury claims found that there were more than 84,000 cases between 2013 and 2017. More than other injuries of the same type, barista wrist takes a long time to heal: In fact, the study found that it takes an average of 366 days to return to the same job after sustaining this kind of injury. That’s more than 3 times the time required for a “struck or injured by” accident, which is one of the other leading causes of workplace injury.

Why is barista wrist more serious than other forms of repetitive stress injury? Because of a motion called “tamping” that is required to make specialized coffee drinks, workers are forced to hold their hands in an unnatural and uncomfortable position for long periods of time. This motion is so intrinsic to the job that it can be difficult for baristas and coffee shop workers to seek work within their field as they recover, putting them at both financial and physical risk.

Navigating an RSI Claim in Georgia

Under Georgia law, repetitive stress claims can and should be covered by workers’ compensation insurers. Of course, many employers are reluctant to see their premiums rise, and may attempt to avoid filing a claim for your barista wrist injuries. Some also see repetitive motion as a “frivolous” claim, and do not understand the serious long-term consequences if these injuries go untreated.

At Herbert Chestnut & Associates, we’re skilled at imparting the seriousness of your RSI to employers and insurance providers alike. Getting injured on the job can be a stressful and frustrating experience, but with our award-winning team by your side, you may be more likely to receive a first-time approval for your workers’ comp claim.

Ready to speak with our team about barista wrist injuries? Call (770) 661-0091 today!