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CTS among preventable workplace injuries

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition affecting the hand and wrist. It is caused by the compression of a nerve that is located in the wrist. The condition causes pain, tingling and numbness in the hand or wrist. Workplace injuries may result from repetitive motion activities.

A recent study by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) identified industries where incidents of CTS are highest. Three industries stood out as having significantly higher occurrences: textiles, apparel manufacturing and animal slaughtering plants. While it was found that these industries had a disproportionate number of occurrences of CTS, it was also found that women were affected at a significantly higher rate than men. In the overall study that looked at 140,000 CTS claims between the years of 2007 - 2014, the rate of CTS for men was at 2.5 per 10,000 employees, while for women, it was at 8.2 per 10,000 employees.

Surgery is frequently recommended for people suffering from CTS. Ergonomic prevention can also help reduce the risk of developing CTS. Some changes that can be instituted to reduce the risk of CTS include training on proper posture for repetitive tasks, encouraging employees to report symptoms to medical personnel and providing frequent breaks to help relieve the stress created by repetitive motion tasks.

Many jobs in California require repetitive motion as part of the job. However, a person should not have to fear contracting debilitating workplace injuries as part of one's employment. If an employee is concerned about the risk of CTS in the workplace, he or she may wish to consult with a knowledgeable attorney regarding legal options that may be available.

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