Arkansas Q&A Board

Q&A Log - Arkansas

Worker ' s Compensation

Ergonomic Deficiency
Question: An office worker develops tendonitis in his wrist and is provided medical treatment and work restrictions, resulting in a recordable injury. The tendonitis resulted from poor ergonomics. The employee recovered completely from the tendonitis. 10 months later, the same employee sees a doctor, receives surgery and misses several days of work due to tendonitis in his same wrist. Is it compensable?  -Nate B. 1/31/21

Answer: The following comes directly from Arkansas Worker's Compensation Commission ( - "Workers' compensation covers accidental injuries which arise out of, and in the course of employment, cause internal or external harm to the body, are caused by a specific incident and are identifiable by time and place of occurrence. There are three exceptions to the specific incident, and time and place requirement: (1) rapid repetitive motion injuries, including carpal tunnel; (2) gradual on-set back injuries; and (3) hearing loss. These three injuries are compensable only in those cases in which the resultant condition is the "major cause" of the need for treatment and/or disability or death. Major cause is defined as more than 50% of the cause." This injury fits into category (2) gradual on-set injuries. Because it was work related, and reaggravated at work, if a doctor determined that more 50% of the injury was work related this would be compensable. -McKell S. 2/9/21

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