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"Safe" Jobs Dangerous Too, As Scooping Ice Cream Fells Alberta Woman

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An Alberta, Canada woman has been awarded workers' comp for an shoulder injury sustained while scooping hard ice cream.

The ruling read, in part:

“The activity required considerable use of force with her right hand and arm in a twisting motion because the ice cream was frozen hard.… She recalls that during one two-day period, the total sale of ice cream cones was $1,500.”

The National Post writes:

"The Alberta woman had no problems in the first several weeks on the job. Her shoulder condition had been diagnosed a year earlier, but treated successfully with cortisone shots. Then her duties changed, with dispensing ice cream becoming her chief task. Eventually, the pain became too much, prompting her to quit the job and, after more cortisone failed to bring relief, undergo surgery."

Now, surely some of you will laugh and point to this as an example of comp claims gone wild. But ask any slaughterhouse or assembly line worker--repetitive stress injuries are not a joke.

Dr. Stephen Reed, an orthopedic surgeon, told the Post that "the design of most ice-cream parlours makes for a much different activity than spooning out dessert on the counter at home."

“They’re forced to do this basically at arm’s length, reaching into a large cabinet,” said Dr. Reed. “It’s basically poor ergonomics, and they’re doing it repetitively.”

Here's a solution: soft-serve.
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