Grocery workers, at risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Grocery workers of a known establishment in Cainta, Rizal is at high risk of developing Carpal  Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) due to repetitive work movements.

A studyanalyzing the association between repetitive movements of grocery workers in a known supermarket in Cainta, Rizal and the prevalence of the CTS revealed that workers with  jobs that are repetitive, continuous, needing power grip, and requiring wrist bent or in an awkward  posture were likely to develop the syndrome caused by work.

A group of 68 selected grocery workers comprising of cashiers, merchandisers, promodisers, baggers, stockroom personnel, porters, housekeeping personnel, receiving staff, and drivers  were interviewed and tested using the Health and Safety Executive – Assessment of Repetitive Task (HSE-ART), a validated tool in screening repetitive tasks that may contribute to the development of several upper limb disorders. Among the jobs performed, merchandisers, or those restocking product on the shelves throughout the day, and cashiers, whose work involves exposure to back, neck, and wrist pain, among others, were considered to have the highest risk of developing the syndrome. Meanwhile, workers whose job requires exerting very strong efforts with the hand, regardless of the frequency, also showed great CTS prevalence.

Latest occupational health data in the Philippines show that there has been a significant increase (138%) in the number of workers who have developed the syndrome from 2011 to 2013 (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2015). The study also supports the need for workplace interventions to improve the health status of the workforce, particularly those in high risk of acquiring CTS through repetitive movements.

   1Malimban, Janine G., et al. (2016). Association of Repetitive Movements and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome among Grocery Workers in Cainta, Rizal: An Analytical     Cross-Sectional Study. The Filipino Family Physician, Volume 54 (1), pp. 13-23.

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