Repetitive Stress Injuries / Carpal Tunnel

Persons who work on an assembly line do not share the same risk of injury as a person operating heavy machinery. In almost all cases, regardless of the type of equipment involved in the manufacturing process, hand injuries are common. Finger amputations and hand amputations are most common in the factory environment. Carpal tunnel syndrome (an inflammation of the wrists requiring surgery) can occur to assembly line workers who are required to place small objects into small containers by flexing the wrists. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition not uncommon to persons operating forklifts on a continuous basis, because of the vibration of the machinery itself. Slip and fall injuries are common in the factory environment where liquids are present. Whenever the manufacturing process requires some liquid, be it water or chemicals, floors become wet from the manufacturing process itself or wet from constant cleaning. Lower back injuries (lumbar strain to multiple herniated discs) resulting from lifting heavy material, are as common as lifting injuries in any other type of employment.

Specific risks peculiar to manufacturing are injuries that occur in and about loading docks. There tends to be a constant movement of forklifts, which collide with one another or collide with fellow workers. Where boxes or pallets are moved by hand, there is the constant risk of lower back injury or knee injury (sprain, torn meniscus) resulting from twisting. Shoulder injury may also occur when attempting to lift with the upper body, rather than the lower body. Exterior loading docks always present the hazard of falling. When rain or snow is present, that risk increases, resulting in injury to almost any part of the body.

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