The study was conducted to assess the prevalence and incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in a large modern footwear factory and to identify factors predictive of CTS. To this end, 199 workers were examined in 1996, and 162 of them were re-examined in 1997. Ergonomic and psychosocial risk factors of CTS were assessed by workpost analysis and self-administered questionnaire. The prevalence of CTS at baseline in 1996 and in 1997 was 16.6% (95%CI: 11.4-21.7) and 11.7% (95%CI: 6.7-16.8), respectively. The incidence rate of CTS in 1997 was 11.7% (95%CI: 6.7-7.8). No specific type of job performance was associated with CTS. Obesity (OR = 4.4; 95%CI: 1.1-17.1) and psychological distress at baseline (OR = 4.3; 95%CI: 1.0-18.6) were strongly predictive of CTS. Rapid trigger movements of the fingers were also predictive of CTS (OR = 3.8; 95%CI: 1.0-17.2). A strict control of thework by superiors was negatively associatedwith CTS (OR = 0.5; 95%CI: 0.2-1.3). The prevalence and incidence of CTS in this workforce were largely higher than in the general population and numerous industries. The study highlights the role of psychological distress in workers exposed to a high level of physical exposure and psychological demand.