SPAIN: Carpal tunnel syndrome now recognized as an occupational disease for workers in the cleaning sector

Home > The news of EUROGIP and occupational risks in Europe > SPAIN: Carpal tunnel syndrome now recognized as an occupational disease for workers in the cleaning sector

TMS PoignetWrist MSDs. One of the highest courts in Spain, the “Tribunal Supremo”, recently ruled in favour of a cleaning woman affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. She brought the case to the appeal court after the Mutua and the Social Security organization (INSS) refused to recognize her condition as an occupational disease. The court’s ruling will now serve as an established legal precedent.

The list of occupational diseases appears in Royal Decree 1299/2006. According to this document, carpal tunnel syndrome due to compression of the median nerve is recognized as an occupational disease for “work in which the person presses for a long time repeatedly on the fibrous sling, either directly or indirectly, causing nervous damage due to compression; extreme hyperflexion or hyperextension movements; work requiring repeated or steady movements of hyperextension or hyperflexion of the wrist, or gripping with the hand, such as those of launderers and fabric and plastic cutters or similar work; assembly work (electronic, mechanical), work in the textile industry, slaughterhouses (butchers, slaughterers), the hotel industry (waiters, cooks), welding, joinery, polishing and painting”.

The Mutua and the INSS had rejected the cleaning woman’s claim for recognition. They considered that since cleaning activities were not mentioned explicitly, they were not covered by the Royal Decree. The “Tribunal supremo” established, by its ruling, that the award of the classification as an occupational disease should not be based on the occupation of the person affected, but rather on the fact that the work performed by the worker could result in damage associated with the occupational disease in question.

To see more (in Spanish)

Discover other news

Community news


OSH measures key to prevent violence and harassment at work

More than one in five workers in the 25 countries surveyed have experienced violence and harassment at work, according to a new report by the ILO. Creating an environment free of these problems requires “a cooperative approach and social dialogue within companies on occupational health and safety (OHS)”.

Community news


Lead and diisocyanates: Council approves new limit values

The new directive adopted today reduces the occupational exposure limit values for lead and its compounds, which are toxic to reproduction, by a factor of five, and introduces new limit values for diiosocyanates, to which 4.2 million workers are exposed and which can cause asthma and skin diseases.



OS&H in Europe: where are we now?

So where are we in Europe when it comes to health and safety at work? That's the question we put to William Cockburn Salazar, the new Executive Director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), in the first episode of the EUROGIP Discussions.