Carpal tunnel syndrome and workers’ compensation

Many workers in New Jersey face a high occupational risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The Centers for Disease Control has released a report identifying jobs associated with the highest risk of developing CTS.

CTS develops when the median nerve in a person’s wrist is compressed. Symptoms include pain, tingling and weakness in the affected hand or wrist. Workers who perform repetitive tasks or spend long hours using their hands or wrists in awkward posture face work-related risks for developing CTS symptoms.

The CDC analyzed a total of 139,336 cases of probable CTS in California workers to determine which industries were linked to high numbers of CTS. The rate of developing CTS was about 3.3 times higher for female workers than it was for males.

According to researchers, the industries associated with the greatest risk included the apparel industry and animal slaughter and processing. The CDC recommends that employers in these industries adopt preventative measures to protect workers such as utilization of tools to correct awkward posture and repetitive, forceful motions associated with an increased risk of CTS.

Employees who have been injured at work may be eligible for workers’ compensation. An attorney could help someone with CTS file a claim to receive payments for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and other expenses.

In some cases, the insurance company for the employer may deny coverage because insurance adjusters claim that the injury was not work-related. The employee has the burden of proving that the injury is work-related. An attorney might be able to assist an injured employee with CTS demonstrate that they are entitled to workers’ compensation by providing the insurance company with favorable evidence. The report from the CDC suggests that workers in certain industries are indeed more likely to develop CTS as a result of the tasks they are assigned at work.

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