Working with wrists in a bent rather than straight position can result in ergonomic
injuries, especially where the task also involves high hand force. Working with bent wrists puts stress
on the tendons and tendon sheaths in the hands and wrists. When the wrists are bent the tendons and sheaths
rub against hard bones and ligaments. If this happens repeatedly, the tendons and sheaths can become irritated
and inflamed, resulting in injury such as tendonitis. The inflamed tendons and sheaths can also press against
the nerves that run through the wrist to the hand, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome.
A number of tasks in the poultry processing industry require employees to work with their wrists bent, including:
General controls to reduce awkward wrist postures:
- Inspection of body cavities Employees often must bend their wrists to inspect body cavities or birds and remove
missed material, especially if they must work at heights that are too high or low.
- Boning, cutting/trimming Using in-line knives often forces employees to bend their wrists in order to exert the
finger and hand force necessary to hold and control the knife.
- Boning tasks can force employees to bend their wrists 30 - 40 degrees, especially if they are working on a flat,
- Grip strength can be reduced by 25 - 55% when work must be performed with bent wrists.
- Trimming When employees hold meat during trimming, they often must bend the wrist toward the body so the meat
is properly aligned for scissor use.
- Bent handle knives to allow cuts to be made with straight wrists.
- Raised working platforms to allow employees to inspect body cavities of birds with straight wrists.
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