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MMWR reports that workers’ compensation claims for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in California during 2007–2014 were 6.3 per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers, with female workers and workers in industries that manufacture apparel, process food, and perform administrative work being at highest risk for CTS.
The California Department of Public Health analyzed California workers’ compensation claims for CTS by industry (2007–2014) and occupation (2014) and calculated rates per full-time equivalent (FTE) worker.
During 2007–2014, a total of 139,336 CTS cases were reported (incidence = 6.3 cases per 10,000 FTE) in California workers; the rate among women (8.2) was 3.3 times higher than that among men (2.5).
Industries with the highest rates of CTS were textile, fabric finishing, and coating mills (44.9), apparel accessories and other apparel manufacturing (43.1), and animal slaughtering and processing (39.8). The highest rates of CTS also included telephone operators; cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop counter attendants; and electrical, electronics, and electromechanical assemblers.
Industries with high rates of CTS should consider implementing intervention measures, including ergonomic evaluations and development of tools and instruments that require less repetition and force and correct awkward postures.