Monday, November 12, 2007
Typing your way to pain
Tap. Tap. Tap. Typing has never been my strong suit. Trained monkeys type faster than I do. But these days, it's even worse. And it's painful. If I type for more than a few minutes, my elbow and wrist hurt like the dickens. Since writing (and subsequently typing) is the way I make my lunch money, I decided to seek professional help before it got really bad. After a few X-rays and a little poking and twisting, the doctor gave me the bad news. Turns out I have carpal tunnel syndrome. Now, I am wearing a VERY attractive black brace and I am popping ibuprofen ever few hours. Oh, the hazards of an office job!
Curious, I decided to do some checking on work related injuries. Just last week, the U.S. Department of Labor released new statistics on work injuries that require time off. Overall, the news is good: The number of injuries was down 6 percent in 2006. Among the other interesting findings:
* Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants had the most days away from work -- four times the total for all other occupations.
* Sprains and strains were the top cause of injury.
* Men were more likely to be injured than women.
* And interestingly enough, the overall cases of carpal tunnel syndrome decreased by 21 percent. (Apparently my wrist and elbow didn't get the memo.)
But here's the statistic that really jumped out at me: Assaults and violent acts increased by 10 percent. Against women, they were up 21 percent. Health care and social assistance workers took the brunt of the abuse -- 60 percent of incidents happened to them and were committed by people they were trying to help.
Hearing that puts my little inconvenience in perspective. I am curious: Do you have any interesting work injury stories? Do you think your employer does enough to keep you safe? Any advice?
I will end it here. My arm needs a break.
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