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Report: Poultry plant workers suffer from carpal tunnel

Getting injured on the job can be very upsetting and stressful. Instead of focusing on work, people who are hurt or sick need to worry about getting to the hospital, taking medicine and perhaps being unable to work temporarily or permanently. However, many injured workers in New York are eligible to collect workers' compensation to help them cover these additional expenses. 

The trouble for some people is that they may not even realize they are suffering from a work-related condition until it is too late. Some types of injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, develop slowly over time. Sadly many workers end up trying to work through discomfort instead of getting the help they require. This was found to be the case recently when workers at a poultry plant became the subject of an interesting study.

The study was conducted in order to look at the effect speeding up certain lines in a poultry plant. There was a concern that speeding up the lines would cause unnecessary complications for workers and could increase the chance of injury.

However, experts from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health reported that many workers at the plant were already suffering multiple different types of pain in their wrists and hands, including carpal tunnel. In fact, 42 percent of the 318 workers that were interviewed had symptoms of carpal tunnel. Overall, nearly 67 percent of the workers were dealing with some type of pain, numbness, burning or tingling in their hands.

As upsetting and surprising as it may be to learn that so many people are working through painful work-related conditions, it may be even worse to learn that the U.S. Department of Agriculture may still go through with plans to speed up the lines. Faster lines would mean more repetitive motions and possibly more injuries. 

Employees should not have to be subjected to working in dangerous or unsafe work environments. Too many employees work through these conditions because they may be afraid to file a claim and pursue workers' compensation benefits. However, this compensation can not only help injured workers get the help they deserve, but a claim can also shine light on unsafe conditions that need to be addressed.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Poultry Worker Study Finds Alarming Rate Of Carpal Tunnel As USDA Considers Line Speedup," Dave Jamieson, June 5, 2013

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