Health and safety briefs (Oct. 21, 2002)

Carpal tunnel remedies

— Surgery should be the first rather than the last option for sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), according to a Dutch study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The ubiquitous workplace ailment, often associated with computer use, occurs when tendons leading from the hand become swollen and press on a nerve in a region of the wrist called the carpal tunnel. Splints work by keeping the wrist from bending, easing pressure on the nerve. Surgery involves making a small incision in the wrist and cutting the carpal ligament away from the nerve to relieve pressure.

Construction most deadly in PQ

— The construction industry in Quebec remains one of the most dangerous for workers, according to the provinces health and safety board. Construction workers in Quebec make up five per cent of the workforce but account for 16 per cent of all deaths, said Daniel Legault of the Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail. Last year, 180 people died in workplace accidents, 28 or those deaths were on a construction site. Construction workers also accounted for many of the 141,000 workplace accidents, according to the story in the Montreal Gazette.

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