Whether you work assembling products on a factory line or installing roofs all day, tool use may be an important part of your job. Tools can potentially reduce the effort necessary to do complex work. Unfortunately, they can also lead to injuries that force you to change professions.
The more time you spend holding onto tools every day, the greater the likelihood that you will eventually develop a repetitive stress injury. There are several different conditions that workers can develop from handling tools day after day.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
When the gripping work that you do puts pressure on the tendons that connect your hands to your arms, it can cause swelling and then nerve damage. Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain, numbness and loss of strength in the hand and wrist.
Inflammation of the tendons in your hands can be quite painful. When the swelling is severe enough, it can make it difficult for people to straighten their fingers or use their thumbs without pain. Tendonitis can also affect someone’s manual strength.
Hand-arm vibration syndrome
If you have to grip a drill or a power tool that vibrates, the constant vibration can affect your joints, connective tissue, nerves and muscles. The symptoms of this condition include numbness, grip issues and pain.
Repetitive stress injuries that affect your ability to do your job can have long-term financial consequences. Thankfully, if you develop the injury at work, you may qualify for benefits to cover your treatment costs and your lost wages. Learning more about workers’ compensation insurance can help you get benefits when you develop a medical condition because of your job.