If white-collar workers suffer the most from repetitive stress injuries, then java-collar workers are surely suffering more.
Work-related injuries among baristas are on the rise, comprising mostly of elbow, wrist and joint problems from repetitive stress. Some have even coined the term “barista wrist” although baristas suffering from medial epicondylitis, or golfer’s elbow, is just as common.
Lifting milk cartons causes a strain on the elbow, while stamping espresso and turning a knob for 100 to 300 cups of coffee each day puts a strain on the wrist, experts say.
A $30-billion per year business in U.S.
Think such a problem doesn’t affect a lot of people? Think again. Specialty coffee is a $30 billion-per-year business in the U.S. alone, and an informal survey showed 55 percent of baristas report signs of repetitive stress injury.
Treatments can range from aspirin to physical therapy to surgery. One barista who sustained an elbow injury from her job got a piece of advice from her doctor – Quit.
Barista salaries in Colorado average $11 per hour.
Colorado worker‘s comp claims
It’s important to follow the rules when you are injured on the job:
If you lose more than three days (or shifts) off work, or you have a permanent injury, or if your employer disputes the claim:
Benefits cover two-thirds of your average weekly wage – or $7.26 an hour.