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Is carpal tunnel more common for workers in construction?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Workers in manufacturing and construction have a significantly higher incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in Kentucky and around the country. After getting an injury on the job, a worker should talk to their employer and apply for workers’ compensation. A worker can appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim or reopen an old claim because of reinjury.

Carpal tunnel syndrome in the workplace

A new study finds that construction and manufacturing workers have a higher rate of carpal tunnel syndrome than office workers. The study checks employment, injuries, and demographics between 2003 and 2018. During those years, carpal tunnel syndrome dropped from 1.3 million to 900,380, but a significant number of workers still get injured every year. Many carpal tunnel syndrome injuries involve manual labor, which is common in manufacturing and construction.

Risk of carpal tunnel syndrome

Workers’ compensation claims for carpal tunnel are typically due to repetitive activity. Office workers tend to get carpal tunnel syndrome from constant typing. Workers in the manufacturing and construction sectors tend to get carpal tunnel from forceful wrist motion. Other common manual labor risk factors include lifting and gripping for long periods. Carpal tunnel syndrome comes from high-force hammering, extreme wrist motion, and long-term vibrations in the construction sector.

Effects of carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common workers’ compensation claims in manual labor industries. The swelling of the ligaments and bones leads to nerve compression. Symptoms include hand weakness, loss of hand function, and nightly pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome workers’ compensation claims can cost from $47,000 to $119,000 per employee.

Carpal tunnel syndrome creates hand and upper extremity pain in many sectors. Many people associate carpal tunnel with white-collar jobs, but manual labor workers have a higher incidence.


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