Uncle Sam takes on repetitive strain injuries

— 5:20 PM on November 22, 1999

CNN is reporting that one of those massive government bureaucracies we all love is trying to tackle a serious problem for tech workers: injuries related to repetitive motions, poor ergonomics, or a combination of the two. Here's the take from one faceless bureaucrat:

Each year, 1.8 million workers have musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) related to ergonomic factors and 600,000 people miss some work because of them, said Charles Jeffress, administrator of the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons include such problems back pain, tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome -- a condition linked in some cases to repetitive typing with the hands palm down, which can cause pressure on a nerve in the wrist.

I'm not big on OSHA or some of its intiatives, but whatever the means, this particular cause deserves some attention. Speaking from experience, I can say that repetitive strain injuries are real, painful, and potentially very serious--kinda like a Jewel concert.
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