Take steps to stop RSI

Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) affects almost half a million British workers every year and costs UK industry an estimated £20 billion.

Here are some tips on preventing the condition.

The 28th of February, in case you didn’t know, is International RSI Awareness Day, designed to raise awareness and cut the risks of repetitive strain injuries among employers and workers. Behind it is the might of the British Association/College of Occupational Therapists (BAOT/COT), Fellowes and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to make businesses more aware of the risks and costs of RSI and how to prevent it.

’RSI is experienced by computer users and non-computer users alike, yet it is people working with computers who exhibit the greatest prevalence due to the massive rise in computer use over the past 20 years,’ explains Fellowes marketing manager, Louise Shipley ‘Moreover it’s not just desktop computer users who can be affected. Laptops now represent 42 per cent of all computers sold, so there is now an even greater need for laptop users to appreciate the risks of RSI.’

’If an employee is unable to work it can have a huge impact on a small business, given that in a company with four workers it would be losing 25% of its workforce,’ points out Mary Boughton from the Federation of Small Businesses. ‘In small firms it is easier to monitor how everyone is feeling and so, along with looking at issues such as posture whilst working, owner/managers should take the time to find out whether their employees’ needs are being met before it’s too late.’

The steps to prevent RSI are simple. Advise employees of the following basic steps:

  • Use neutral positions
  • Adjust your workstation
  • Keep things within reach
  • Get rid of clutter
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Stretch occasionally
  • Practice ergonomics everywhere

See the guide and dedicated page from the NHS website here.

See also: Best office chair for your small business

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Health and Safety