Cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) is one of the most common injuries found in the workplace. Rather than getting it from falling down or having something bump your head, these are conditions that build up over time as your body’s tendons and muscles tear from repetitive actions.
This issue has become present for both workers with physically demanding jobs and employees who sit at the computer all day typing. Given how much of these positions are active in the Golden State, it is important for these types of workers to figure out methods to reduce the chances of wearing their sensitive nerve tissue down.
Chair position is key
CTD occurs when a worker performs repetitive actions, has an awkward posture for a long time and uses an excessive amount of force. While excessive force is not typically a problem for workers with desk jobs, it can be if they have the wrong chair and are forced into unsafe positions.
The Safety and Health Magazine recommends altering your work station by performing the following tasks:
- Have a highly adjustable chair that can properly support your back.
- Reduce glare on your monitor and keep it 18-30 inches from your face.
- Keep your wrists flat and straight when using a keyboard.
- Have your keyboard at a 90-degree angle from your elbow.
- Take breaks to stretch your hands, fingers and whole body.
- Do not place your work items too far out of reach.
- Acquire a telephone headset so you can avoid bending your neck awkwardly to cradle the phone.
Additionally, make sure to take a couple of moments to walk throughout the day so all of your body is physically active. If there is not much of a workout routine or equipment available at home, you will have to take extra steps to stay in shape and keep your body’s muscles in good condition.
How bad is it?
Recently, the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California determined that cumulative trauma claim rates have grown 50 percent in the last decade. Around 40 percent of these claims were filed after the employee was fired or left their job. The claims have become increasingly complex over the years as claimants have had different body parts affected or end up filing multiple times because they continue working at their job.
Since desk jobs are not as physical as other positions such as construction workers or manufacturers, many employees are unaware of their potential to contact CTD or if they are eligible to receive workers’ compensation for their condition. An experienced attorney can help you determine if you are suitable for coverage and can help you acquire financial aid for your medical needs.