According to TUC and Health & Safety Executive statistics, approximately 500,000 British workers report repetitive strain injuries every year. Regarded as one of the most common injuries at work, repetitive strain injury (RSI) is responsible for a staggering 5.4 million lost working days per year. Around six workers will leave work due to this work related condition every day of the year. The yearly cost of this industrial illness to the UK is conservatively estimated at somewhere between £5 billion and £10 billion.
About the condition
Often described as upper limb disorder; occupational overuse syndrome or cumulative trauma disorder, RSI is a condition affecting ligaments, muscles and nerves; tendons and other soft tissues, as well as the joints of the:
RSI is typically caused by repeating tasks like bending, twisting or typing, for example, over and over. When loads are involved in a repetitive task, the resulting damage can be more severe.
Symptoms of RSI may include:
- Aches, pains or tenderness
- Throbbing sensations
- Tingling (pins and needles)
Sufferers of this industrial condition may experience some or all of these symptoms. The severity of experienced symptoms may also vary from one affected individual to the next.
Employers and RSI
British employers are legally obliged by the 1999 Safety at Work Regulations and the 1974 Safety Act to prevent RSI incidents where possible via, for instance:
- Reduction of repetition by breaking up work periods with multiple short breaks and/or rotating tasks among several staff members
- Provision of workstations or equipment that can be adjusted to suit employees of varying sizes
- Reductions of loads or, where this is not possible, provision of assistive equipment and training in manual handling procedures
Providing and properly maintaining the correct, preferably vibration free tools and equipment is also necessary to prevent work related injuries.
When employers fail
Should employers fail their duty to prevent accidents at work, employees injured at work may be entitled to compensation. In other words, if your employer did not take the necessary measures to prevent RSI and you develop this disorder as a result, you may qualify for work injury compensation. Accident Advice Helpline advisers can quickly establish the eligibility of your claim and offer you the assistance of our in-house solicitors backed by over 10 years of experience in the claims sector. Have a confidential chat with us now on 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: February 27, 2015
Author: Accident Advice