Claimant’s Work As Casings Puller Resulted In Compensable Repetitive Stress Injuries, Including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Rotator Cuff Tendonitis And Myofascitis Of The Left Upper Extremity

Based on claimant’s testimony regarding his job duties, along with the chain of events and causal connection opinion of two doctors, the Commission held claimant sustained her burden of proving she sustained repetitive accidental injuries arising out of and in the course of her employment as a casings puller.

Claimant worked for defendant as a casings puller, which required that she constantly pull back and forth with both arms in order to separate small intestines away from the fat in pork bellies. She performed this task 60 to 90 times per hour. She also bundled animal matter. She began experiencing pain in her upper extremities and shoulders and sought treatment. She was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, a left shoulder condition and myofascitis of the left upper extremity. Claimant’s manager testified that claimant pulled 60 to 65 times per hour and stated that there was more pulling done with the right hand and holding with the left hand. Arbitrator denied benefits.

The Commission reversed and awarded benefits, holding that claimant sustained her burden proving that she suffered repetitive accidental injuries arising out of and in the course of her employment. In so holding, the Commission relied on claimant’s and the manager’s testimony regarding claimant’s job duties, the chain of events and the causal connection opinions of her treating doctor and on of defendant’s doctors, who opined that claimant’s problems with her wrists, elbows and shoulder were work-related.