When you think that two thirds of office staff suffer from repetitive strain injury (RSI) you would imagine that personal injury lawyers are swamped with compensation claim cases taking office bosses to task.
However, research by Microsoft, reveals that a third of those office workers displaying symptoms associated with RSI do not realise they are work related - and, of those employees that do report their injuries to Human Resources managers, 68 per cent of the notified HR departments do nothing.
The research revealed that RSI cases had risen by 30 per cent from the previous year's figures, and it was suggested that this could be attributed to the fact that many more staff work on the move.
Office-based employees now more commonly work whilst out of the office; using laptops and mobile phones for an average of an hour a day more than they did two years previously.
The survey of 1,000 office workers revealed that 68 per cent presented with symptoms including back ache, shoulder pain and pains in the hands and wrists.
Fewer than 50 percent of UK workplaces operate an ergonomic hardware programme designed to reduce the symptoms of RSI, and almost 25 percent of employees are unaware if their company has one.
Ergonomic hardware includes office items that can reduce the risk of RSI, such as; articulating keyboards, monitor arms, copy holders, ergonomic mice, laptop holders, footrests and chairs.
Whilst technological advances have made it possible for staff to operate outside the office, the report revealed a lack of knowledge regarding an injury known as "Blackberry Thumb". The American Society of Hand Therapists has already issued a consumer warning regarding the overuse of handheld electronics that is causing an increase in the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
PDA phone (personal digital assistant) and Blackberry users and have been urged to learn how to hold the devices correctly so as to avoid unnecessary strain to their hands and to take regular breaks from typing on them
Without further instigation of training programmes and ergonomic office equipment solutions personal injury lawyers are likely to see an increase in RSI compensation claims from office based workers.
Published on 1970-01-01 18:24:00