Ergonomics and my story

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>
From:"baconb" <>
To:"Histonet" <>
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Subject: Ergonomics and my story

Dear Histonetters:
I accepted a job in Oct of 1998 in a small University lab that had two
automated Microm microtomes.  From the onset, the other tech and I were not
really comfortable cutting tissues on the automated settings, so we used the
automated to face in blocks.  This is a high volume lab cutting rat and
mouse research tissue.
Three months later my co-worker left after loosing a grievance hearing and I
was left to manage the lab until a new supervisor was hired in Mid-May.
Even though I had an automated microtome, sitting and cutting 8 or more
hours per day lead to severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands.  I was
first sent to an orthopedic specialist at the University Hospital who
diagnosed me and in his opinion it was work related.  He also had an
electrical nerve conduction study done.  The University's Work Comp
Insurance carrier didn't like this opinion and sent me to their doctor who
spent 15 minutes examining me and pronounce my carpal tunnel due to my
diabetes.  I have juvenile type 1 diabetes for the past 10 years and work
really hard to maintain tight control in the normal non diabetic range so I
knew he was sure full of it.  I spoke to my Diabetes Doc and he really
recommended that I keep going to the ortho Doctor I first saw.  Things
radically changed at work after diagnosis.  All of a sudden I became totally
incompetent and was being threatened with discharged.  I was watched and
documented.  This kept up until my surgery in January.  On the day before my
surgery as I had my coat on and was leaving, my new supervisor forced a
performance letter on me and demanded that I sign it.  She was told where to
put it and I left.  During my convalescence, I found a new career field to
go into that paid better and I'm much happier now.  After 15 years of being
a histologist, I've had enough.  I'm still fighting Work Comp with an
attorney now.  And my old job has been vacant since my surgery, January
I'm with everyone trying to protect yourself from repetitive injuries and
I'm all for automated microtomes, but more from OSHA is needed to protect
techs from getting hurt.  Also, I wish to warn anybody suffering from carpal
tunnel and needing to get medical attention.  At the first sign of negative
problems with your employer, get in and get the advice of an attorney and
follow that advice.  I did and eventually I'll win my work comp case.
Sometime things just take time to work out.  Sincerely yours, Bob

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>