Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 2426 15
S. Netten - E. Tracey - D. Besner
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Disablement (repetitive work)
  • Office worker (keyboarding)

The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome.

The worker related his condition to continual computer work. However, the Panel found that most studies do not demonstrate an association between carpal tunnel syndrome and computer usage. The recognized occupational risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome were repetitive, forceful work with wrist extension, as well as vibration and cold environment. The Panel placed little weight on labour statistics from a decade ago that included repetitive keyboarding as a category for absences related to carpal tunnel syndrome. The Panel relied on the scientific literature and the discussion of that literature by medical professionals and researchers.
There is better support for a link between heavy mouse usage and carpal tunnel syndrome. In this case, the worker's condition was bilateral, so that mouse usage would not explain his condition.
The appeal was dismissed.