Steps To Take To Accommodate The Employee With Cumulative Trauma Disorders

The United States Department of Labor has developed a set of guidelines that can assist the owner, operator or manager of a business in accommodating in the workplace an employee that suffers from cumulative trauma disorders of CTDs. More information on these guidelines can be found through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA maintains an Internet website at


When it comes to workplace accommodation, there are different types of problems associated with CTDs. For example, one of the areas that people with CTDs suffer involves fatigue and weakness. Accommodations for this type of condition, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, include:


-Reduce or eliminate physical exertion and workplace stress


-Schedule periodic rest breaks away from the assigned workstation


-Provide for the employee a more flexible work schedule and a more flexible use of leave time


-Allow or permit the employee to work from home


Some employees have found that they are suffering from fine motor impairment as the result of CTDs. The U.S. Department of Labor through OSHA has suggested accommodations for this type of impairment, including:


-Implement ergonomic workplace and workstation design


-Provide alternative telephone and computer access for the employee


-Provide arm supports


-Provide grip and writing aids


-Provide a book holder and a page turner


-Provide the employee with a note taker


-Provide ergonomic workplace tools and other ergonomic adaptations


Finally, there are people afflicted with CTDs that suffer from gross motor impairment. Once again, the U.S. Department of Labor through OSHA has recommendations for accommodating people in the workplace that suffer from CTDS. These accommodations include:


-Modify the workplace to make it more readily accessible to the employee


-Provide more accessible parking for the employee


-Provide a more accessible entrance to the workplace for the employee


-Install automatic door openers for use by the employee


-Modify the workstation to make to more ergonomic and accessible for the employee


-Make sure that equipment and materials used by the employee are accessible readily


-Move the employees workstation closer to other areas which the employee accesses regularly


-Provide the afflicted employee with carts and related lifting and moving devices




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