Making a claim for carpal tunnel syndrome caused at work

There are some illnesses, injuries and conditions which can be caused by a person’s work environment and the job they do. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of those conditions. You might be thinking “can I claim for carpal tunnel syndrome caused at work?” The short answer is, yes. Of course, it is a lot more complicated than that, and in reality,there are a lot of factors which need to be taken into account before you can begin a claim process.

An expert work-related injury and illness solicitor will be able to assess whether your claim is likely to be successful, so if you are suffering with carpal tunnel which was caused at work, it’s a good idea to get in contact with a specialist as soon as possible.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition which affects a person’s wrists and hands. It can be painful and restrict movement. This is caused by compression on a nerve in the wrist called the median nerve. This nerve runs from your elbow to your fingers, so you could experience pain and discomfort anywhere along your arm if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.

How can it be caused by work?

There are a range of jobs and professions in which employees are at a higher risk of developing or worsening carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, people who work with vibratory tools, do a lot of heavy lifting or perform repetitive hand movements are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome because of how their work puts pressure on the nerve in their wrist.

There are two main types of carpal tunnel caused at work – exposure to repetition and exposure to vibration. Production line work is known to cause strain injuries because of its repetitive nature. Repetition-based carpal tunnel syndrome is usually caused by the person’s wrist repeatedly bending up and down over a prolonged period.

Vibration-related carpal tunnel syndrome can develop because of an extended use of vibratory tools at work. The motion of the vibration irritates and compresses the median nerve in a person’s wrist, causing pain, discomfort and other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Jobs at risk of developing the condition

Because there are certain actions and motions which trigger carpal tunnel syndromes, there are certain jobs within specific industries which are more at risk of developing the condition.

Workers at risk of developing repetition-related carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Secretaries
  • Typists
  • Construction workers
  • Machinists
  • Production line workers

Industries where employees are at high risk of developing vibration-related carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Shipbuilding
  • Construction

In any of these roles or professions, your employer has a duty to protect you from harm. This includes doing everything they can to stop the condition from developing or worsening because of the tools you use or the work you perform.

Symptoms of CTS

The inflammation caused by repetition or vibration can cause a carpal tunnel syndrome sufferer to notice certain symptoms. They may experience just one symptom at first, but as their condition develops, they could experience a range of the following:

  • Tingling
  • Pins and needles
  • Aching or painful fingers, hands or arms
  • Difficulty holding onto things
  • Weakness in thumbs
  • Numbness in fingers

These symptoms can really affect your daily life and may even stop you from being able to work. That’s why it’s good to know that you could make a claim to get compensated for having to lose out on wages because of your employer’s failure to protect you.