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On-the-Job Injuries: Specific Event Versus Cumulative Trauma

Specific injuries are sustained in specific events at one moment in time such as in a fall or auto accident.

Alternatively, injuries can occur over time through repetitive use in what is called a cumulative trauma injury or a “C.T.” A cumulative trauma can occur without the worker even realizing it. The most common mechanism for a cumulative trauma is repetitive overuse such as keyboard use, data input or repetitive heavy lifting.

A cumulative trauma can also occur on a mental or emotional level when the worker is subjected to truly unreasonable workloads or abusive treatment by superiors or co-workers.

Both specific event and cumulative trauma injuries are provided for under California workers' compensation law.

 

     
             
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