Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the median nerve becomes compressed due to repetitive wrist, arm, or hand movements. The extensive use of vibrating power tools may also lead to this kind of injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common among factory workers, office workers, chefs, drivers, and construction workers.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can sometimes be due to working conditions, thus allowing employees to seek workmen compensation insurance Minneapolis claims. However, several factors can lead to this condition, and proving that the injury is a result of their working conditions lies on the employee. As a Minneapolis business owner, you must know these factors and reduce them within the workplace.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes
Different factors cause carpal tunnel syndrome such as pregnancy or sometimes, disease. Usually, however, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by trauma and repetitive motion.
Repetitive motion is when a person uses the same wrist, hand, or arm movements for extended periods. Many activities involve repetitive wrist or hand motions such as the following:
- Computer work
- Mechanic work
- Playing musical instruments
- Cashier work
- Other jobs that utilize power tools for long times
Sometimes, trauma, wrist sprains, and injury to the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Work-related accidents such as a slip, fall, or car accident can cause fractured or broken bones that lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
When Can a Worker File for Compensation Claim for CTS?
The wrist is composed of a fragile network of tendons, bones, muscles, and ligaments. Although it provides great mobility, it’s also vulnerable to different injuries or disorders that may happen over time. Carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, happens when injury or repetitive physical activity stresses the median nerve.
A worker has carpal tunnel syndrome when they experience the following symptoms:
- Burning or tingling sensation
- Weak wrist
- Persistent pain the whole day, which usually starts at night
If not treated, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to loss of mobility, muscle atrophy, and permanent damage to the median nerve.
However, carpal tunnel syndrome is usually treatable when caught early.
Employees can file workmen compensation insurance Minneapolis claims if they have evidence that their working conditions caused their condition.
When is CTS Work-Related?
An employee has the best chance of getting compensation for CTS if their regular job responsibilities involve long periods of stress on the wrist.
An organization can be held liable for compensating an employee suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome if there is evidence that their work conditions caused carpal tunnel syndrome. Some sectors that have a high likelihood of having CTS are more likely to file a successful claim. However, there are times when carpal tunnel syndrome is not work-related. In the end, the judge will decide on the claim based on the submitted evidence.
Proving that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Work-Related
It can be difficult for a worker to prove that carpal tunnel syndrome is work-related especially when there are several biological and environmental factors concerned. Also, if the worker suffered carpal tunnel syndrome after they’ve left the job, they may lack enough evidence to prove their case.
Employees may also have different standards in proving that their condition was due to their work responsibilities. However, if they can provide convincing evidence that their work was the sole cause of their condition, then the judge may look in their favor.
In Minneapolis, carpal tunnel syndrome is considered an occupational illness but an employee should prove that their regular work duties made them vulnerable to CTS. They should also prove that their lifestyle choices did not contribute to the condition. In other states, employees that experienced CTS and were found to suffer from pre-existing conditions did not qualify for compensation.
Employees may have a simpler way of proving that their CTS condition was caused by an injury they had while on the job. This occurrence can be proven with enough documentation such as medical reports or CCTV coverage.
Average Payout Amount for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims
State laws involving CTS differ greatly, which means that local factors will also affect the worker’s ability to ask for compensation for their condition. Also, carpal tunnel syndromes differ a lot and the amount that employees can get can vary greatly.
Compensation claims usually consider past or future lost income depending on how much the disease has affected the worker’s ability to work. Some workers seek only time for recovery while others need expensive surgeries, which may be shouldered by the employer.
If your business is facing a carpal tunnel claim, you may want to get an idea of how much compensation employees can get.
Nonsurgical treatments when CTS is caught early can cost at most $300 while surgical treatments can cost $3000 on average. Most employees may also take around three weeks to recover from surgery.
Workplace Adjustments to Implement to Prevent CTS
If your workplace has high rates of CTS among your employees, it might be helpful to do some preventative measures and reduce the cases in the future. These include the following:
- Perform ergonomic evaluations to check for possible sources of injury
- Use more advanced or ergonomically designed equipment to minimize stress-related injuries
- Implement longer rest periods for employees engaged in repetitive jobs
- Conduct training among employees to minimize stress in their bodies
- Initiate exercise programs that aim to strengthen concerned muscles and joints
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be expensive and destructive for both workers and employers. But, there are many ways to avoid this condition. Using the different suggestions provided above, you can make work in your organization more comfortable and minimize or even get rid of the sources of repetitive stress or sudden injury related to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury that’s common among workers that perform repetitive tasks for extended periods. A worker can seek compensation claims if they can prove that their injury is work-related. However, an employer can also implement ways to minimize work-related illnesses and injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Investing in ergonomic equipment is one way to take care of the employee’s health and avoid compensation claims.