If your job every day involves nothing else but disemboweling, de-boning and cutting chickens to prepare them for sale, you may well find yourself having an upcoming date with a physician who specializes in carpal tunnel syndrome. In Alabama and elsewhere, this medical condition, which is known to result from intensive repetitive motions, can result in temporary or sometimes permanent disability that entitles a person to receive workers' compensation benefits. It may prevent the person from continuing that kind of work.
Employers are usually familiar with these job-related injuries, and should where reasonably feasible reassign afflicted workers to non-repetitive jobs. During any period that a worker is out for job-related injuries, including carpal tunnel, he or she is entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits. This includes physical therapy treatments or even surgery to try and correct the problem.
A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that about 42 percent of workers at a South Carolina poultry plant showed signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. Gutting and cutting chickens is so repetitive that it's ruining the hands and wrists of those who work in that industry! The chicken plant studied had 213 of a total of 318 workers with carpal tunnel symptoms. They reported burning, pain and numbness or tingling in their hands or wrists. Two-thirds of the 213 reported waking up at night with pain and severe tingling.
If you work in Alabama and contract medical problems with repetitive motions, the first prudent step is to report it to the employer. Keep everything documented so that there's no future attempt to say you didn't report it or you got it somewhere else. It's also necessary to get medical attention, and for that you must keep the employer informed so that all medical expenses are covered by workers' compensation. If the situation worsens or if you believe that the employer is not going to pay workers' compensation for these job-related injuries, then you may contact workers' compensation counsel for a consultation to learn your rights and the best way to handle the situation.
Source: MSN Money, "Your chicken craving is giving workers carpal tunnel," Jason Notte, June 7, 2013