Report Summarizes Rates of Carpal Tunnel in California Workers by Industry, Occupation
The California Department of Public Health, CDPH, is highlighting its ergonomics resources for employers and workers following a recent report on the rates of carpal tunnel syndrome in the state. The Oct. 5 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report identified more than 139,000 probable and possible cases of carpal tunnel syndrome reported by workers in California during 2007–2014. Researchers analyzed California workers’ compensation claims for carpal tunnel by industry and occupation to determine which industries have the highest rates of carpal tunnel syndrome. According to the report, female workers and workers in industries that manufacture apparel, process food, and perform administrative work were at highest risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. High rates of carpal tunnel were also found among telephone operators; cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop counter attendants; and electrical, electronics, and electromechanical assemblers.  “Industries and occupations identified with high rates of [carpal tunnel syndrome] should consider implementing intervention measures, including ergonomic evaluations and development of tools and instruments that require less repetition and force, and correct awkward postures,” the report concluded. “States could use their workers’ compensation data to identify cases of [carpal tunnel] and use this information to target prevention activities.” Read CDC’s MMWR report on the agency's website. CDPH’s online ergonomic resources include educational materials for specific occupations and ergonomic guides. For more information about carpal tunnel syndrome in California workers, see “By the Numbers.”