Rates of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in a State Workers’ Compensation Information System, by Industry and Occupation

California, 2007–2014
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed as it passes through the wrist within the carpal tunnel, resulting in pain, tingling, weakness, or numbness in the hand or the wrist. Occupational risk factors for CTS include engaging in work activities that require forceful, repetitive tasks, prolonged use of the hands or wrists in an awkward posture, or vibration. To assess trends and identify high-risk industries and occupations for CTS, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) analyzed California workers' compensation claims for CTS by industry (2007–2014) and occupation (2014) and calculated rates per full-time equivalent (FTE) worker. During 2007–2014, a total of 139,336 CTS cases were reported (incidence = 6.3 cases per 10,000 FTE) in California workers; the rate among women (8.2) was 3.3 times higher than that among men (2.5). Industries with the highest rates of CTS were textile, fabric finishing, and coating mills (44.9), apparel accessories and other apparel manufacturing (43.1), and animal slaughtering and processing (39.8). Industries with high rates of CTS should consider implementing intervention measures, including ergonomic evaluations and development of tools and instruments that require less repetition and force and that correct awkward postures.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6739a4.htm

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