A carpal tunnel prevention program at the workplace may help some employees from getting carpal tunnel symptoms. Sometimes
help remind employees of the correct wrist posture that should be used. Workers who perform
take frequent rest breaks from repetitive hand activities....All will benefit from a carpal tunnel prevention program.
Employees who develop ERGONOMIC PROGRAMS (the process of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of workers) often show a DECREASE in CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME CASES.
Although critics of a
carpal tunnel prevention program
say that research has not "conclusively" shown that these workplace changes prevent the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). And This may be in part true, but not because of the failure of a carpal tunnel prevention program, but perhaps due to the many different
Carpal tunnel causes
So even if it prevents someone with a pre-existing case of CTS from causing further damage or making their symptoms worse, it will pay off in the end to the employer. The employer will have more productive and happier employees, they probably will have less people calling in "sick" if their hands are not hurting as much, and the quality of the employees work is usually increased.
From my experience in occupational and orthopedic medicine and after serving on many ergonomic committees over the years, I have found that ergonomics can make a profound difference in preventing work-related injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.
For a company considering an ergonomic program or a carpal tunnel prevention program, I would say if it is set up correctly and it is maintained properly, it should make a difference in your over all injury and recordable injury rates.
Most experts agree that an ergonomics program or a carpal tunnel prevention program is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy employee workforce. This article
Carpal tunnel prevention advice from experts,
looks at a study that was done by ergonomic engineers, showing how bending your wrist back or down too far can increase the pressure within the carpal tunnel area.
If the company is large enough an ergonomic committee should consist of these professionals: A Medical professional, a health and safety person, an ergonomic engineer, a supervisor (management), and a worker. This should form the core of the team. It should meet every couple of weeks or once a month, just depends on how big your workforce is and how many injuries are occurring.
The team should do periodic job site evaluations, where the whole team goes out and looks and even tries the job or jobs in question. A plan should be formulated as to how, when, and what needs to be done to "fix" or correct the job.
Input from workers is often very valuable, since they are the ones who do the jobs. Sometimes they will have suggestions that will make the job better. Sometimes the suggestions are good, but they are not feasible...(i.e. the worker wants some kind of robotic arm that would load a part for him... and lets say the cost would be around $250,000!!..) most companies could not afford such a cost.
BUT, perhaps a hoist could be installed, or a mechanical lift could be used to lift the part up, so the employee doesn't have to bend over as much etc...
Many times there is more than one ergonomic solution available, the team should decide as a whole what is best for everyone.
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