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Cumulative Trauma Disorders

19 January, 2016 - 15:28

Cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) are injuries to the fingers, hands, arms, or shoulders that result from repetitive motions such as typing.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS, is a common cumulative disorder in which the hand and wrist is particularly affected. CTS is a disabling syndrome that fortunately can be prevented or at least minimized. According to one study of CTS,  1 the percentage of a workday at a computer, posture while at the workstation, and the individual’s body features all contribute to this workplace issue. More recently, CTD can be found in people who text a lot or use their smartphones to type or surf the Internet.

There are a number of keyboards, chairs, and other devices that can help limit or prevent CTD issues. CTD disorders cost companies money through higher health-care costs and workersworker’s compensation#8217; compensation payments. CTD is a required recordable case under OSHA. OSHA has voluntary employer guidelines for reducing CTD in specific industries such as poultry processing, shipyards, retail grocery, and nursing homes. OSHA is currently developing standards for industry-specific and task-specific jobs.  2

Figure 13.4 Example of an OSHA Standard for Retail Grocery Stores to Avoid CTD 

Microsoft is attempting to relieve CTD by developing “surface” technology. First introduced in 2007, the system is controlled through intuitive touch rather than the traditional mouse and keyboard. Microsoft and Samsung in early 2011 introduced the newest consumer-ready product, which looks like a large tablet (or iPad) used to perform the same functions as one normally would on her computer.  3

How Would You Handle This?

To Tell or Not?

You work for a large multinational organization as a manager on the factory floor. One of your employees was moving large barrels of chemicals from one workstation to another, when the barrel burst and gave him mild burns. When you talk with him about it, he says it was his own fault, and he doesn’t want to take any days off or see a doctor. How would you handle this?

How Would You Handle This?

The author discusses the How Would You Handle This situation in this chapter at: