Many people associate carpal tunnel syndrome with office work. Office employees who type for hours on end and perform other computer tasks often experience nerve pain along their forearms and hands. But did you know that carpal tunnel syndrome is actually more common among construction and manufacturing workers?
IMPORTANT: Carpel tunnel syndrome (CTS) and other types of repetitive stress injuries are covered by Georgia workers’ compensation. However, you may not get all the benefits you need and deserve if you don’t get the right legal help.
Also, since CTS does not usually come on suddenly — but more over time — it’s important when you report the condition to your employer that you are very specific that you believe the symptoms are from your job duties. Just don’t be wishy washy that the injury “might be” related to your job. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into that trap because there was no specific accident or incident that caused the injury, even though it is job-related. Your employer’s insurance provider may try to claim that your injury is not job-related if you are wishy washy about the cause. To learn more, please see our Workers’ Comp Dos and Don’ts.
Carpal tunnel rates are highest among manual laborers
Researchers from the Henry Ford Health System reviewed Bureau of Labor Statistics data on carpal tunnel syndrome between 2003 and 2018. The researchers discovered that instances of carpal tunnel syndrome were highest in occupations that involve gripping, lifting and other forceful motions involving the wrist.
Researchers found that hammering and using tools that vibrate are two activities that increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. These high-force activities, which are common in construction and manufacturing, were found to be riskier than office tasks like typing.
Ergonomic conditions may decrease injuries
With so much awareness of carpal tunnel syndrome in office environments, it’s very common to see office workers using ergonomic chairs, keyboards and tables. However, the recent analysis is a good reminder that workers in other industries, like construction and manufacturing, should consider ergonomics as well.
Know your workers’ comp options for carpal tunnel and other injuries
Because carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition that worsens over time, it is very important to get treatment before you start experiencing loss of sensation. If your carpal tunnel injury was related to your work conditions, you also need to know your options for getting Georgia workers’ compensation benefits. For more on that, please see our Georgia Workers’ Comp FAQ.