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New study shows farm workers at an increased risk for carpal tunnel syndrome

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently completed a study of processing plant workers in South Carolina and determined that 40% of the workers show signs that they either have or will develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of performing the same repetitive motions over and over again. There is currently discussion going on in Washington, D.C. among legislators about increasing the speed of the slaughter lines, but the study shows clear evidence that doing that would increase the risk of injury to plant workers.

During the study, the South Carolina plant workers performed such tasks as cutting chickens up into smaller pieces, eviscerating the poultry and de-boning the birds--all of which are repetitive in nature. 43% of the 318 workers that were part of the study showed initial signs of carpal tunnel, while a vast majority reported suffering from other types of muscular-skeletal symptoms during their career.

Out of the 318 workers involved in the study, an eye-popping 213 reported during interviews with study officials that they suffered from wrist issues, hand tingling or numbness and painful burning over the last 12 months. A full two-thirds of the total workers involved in the government study reported that they wake up in the middle of the night because of the pain.

Besides nerve injuries involving hands, wrists, and fingers, employees who exercise repetitive motion during work must also worry about the ensuing medical bills. Additional injuries include neck, back, shoulder pain, and the financial pitfalls can be devastating if a worker is forced to miss extended periods of work due to injuries suffered on the job.

If you believe your job has caused carpal tunnel syndrome, please call the Pittsburgh workers' compensation attorneys at Dugan & Associates today for a free consultation at 888-99-DUGAN.

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