Friday, April 8, 2005

Carpal Tunnel Woes

I think that I am starting to get carpal tunnel... too much time spent doing repetitive keystrokes on the keyboard!!

During 1998, an estimated three of every 10,000 workers lost time from work because of carpal tunnel syndrome. Half of these workers missed more than 10 days of work. The average lifetime cost of carpal tunnel syndrome, including medical bills and lost time from work, is estimated to be about $30,000 for each injured worker.

How can systems and processes be developed in such a way to prevent future problems?

And I'm straining my eyes squinting at the computer monitor.. I think I am going blind!

Thinking about it some more, I think that the design of a system can go a long way towards preventing or causing things such as carpal tunnel or car accidents.

Good job design minimizes awkward wrist positions and tasks with repetitive motions.
Redesigning tools is also important. One study in a poultry processing plant found that workers who used standard knives were prone to carpal tunnel syndrome. When the workers started using knives with a bent handle, they no longer needed to bend their wrists while cutting the meat