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Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
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|HAZARDS AT WORK|
|For more information on RSI click here for the relevant chapter of the TUC guide to health and safety "Hazards at Work|
Repetitive strain injuries affect hundreds of thousands of workers every year in Britain.
RSI covers a wide range of injuries to muscles, tendons and nerves. Usually hands, wrists, elbows or shoulders are affected. Knees and feet can also suffer, especially if a job involves a lot of kneeling or operating foot pedals on equipment.
The more common workplace strain injuries are sometimes called Work Related Upper Limb Disorders or WRULDS. This can lead to permanent disabilities, so must be stopped at an early stage.
There are many different names for these conditions, including: Tenosynovitis; carpall tunnel syndrome; tendinitis; dupuytren’s contracture; epicondylitis or ‘tennis or golf elbow’; Bursitis; ‘Housemaid’s knee’ or ‘beat conditions’, and overuse injury.
To prevent strains, however, requires an acknowledgement that workers are not there to provide the flexibility in the system, through contorting and stressing their bodies and brains to cope with poorly designed equipment or systems of work, or through increasing their work rate to accommodate production demands, or because the workforce is too stretched, too cowed or too insecure to complain.