Although many employers try to ensure that workplaces are safe for all employees, accidents and injuries do occur and can cause severe pain and suffering for workers. Stress injuries are some of the most common in the workplace, with carpal tunnel syndrome plaguing a large percentage of workers that constantly use computer keyboards or do repetitive hand tasks in their jobs.
However, when employers were surveyed, almost 85 percent believed they were taking preventative measures to reduce the number of stress-related injuries, including purchasing new equipment, modifying certain job tasks and moving suffering employees to other areas in the company. These efforts may not be enough, however, as workers continue to suffer from this painful condition.
Some individuals are taking their own steps to reduce their risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Keeping fingers, wrists, arms and the neck at full strength, replacing office tools and having duties that cause less stress can help tremendously in preventing injuries. Also, workers prone to carpal tunnel syndrome can make sure to avoid repetition, take periods of rest lasting about three minutes, and take a short period to warm up the muscles in the area affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.
Workers who use hand tools, such as those in the construction industry, frequently injure themselves from the stress their arms and hands take while working. These workers should make sure to apply force evenly, work at lower temperatures, wear gloves to reduce shock and change wrist position.
Keeping good posture, especially for those using a computer at a desk most of the day is also vital to preventing carpal tunnel syndrome. Feet should be on the floor, wrists should be straight on the keyboard with elbows resting on each side of the body, and the spine should be against the back of the chair. Shoulders should be relaxed and the head should remain upright in order for continual circulation.
Employers should also consider purchasing better quality office furniture and advanced technologies that assist workers, including voice recognition software. Supplies including a specially designed mouse and keyboard can also be items to purchase.
Source: University of Maryland Medical Center, “Carpal tunnel syndrome – Prevention,”