EU regulations

Just a quick message to say hang in there. I’m from NZ having had symptoms in my lower right arm for 3 years and working now here it has been bad in both arms. I have done the physio side of things and do stretches at work and have breaks but sometimes it feels like it is never getting better. However it is not getting worse. I do think posture is important (mine is crap) but also I’ve found a correct set up workstation and exercise helps. I now run 5 times a week and did weights in NZ which did help. I’m coming to realize that every ones RSI is different but the depression is still the same.

I’m now trying to get work to give me a workstation assessment – apparently they have to under EU law (does anyone on the list knows this for certain). I think employers need to start taking some responsibility as well but ultimately it is what works for you (I’m off to the Dr on Friday to get some anti-inflames as I’ve not tried this avenue yet but all my friends with RSI swear by exercise – hard though it is). Sometimes it is good and sometimes not but when it is bad I know that it won’t be bad all the time. Hope this helps. Keep smiling.

Comment 1: EU regulations state that all workstations used by VDU Users (i.e. anyone who uses a VDU more than an hour a day) MUST be assessed. If the workstation was brought into existence after 1 Jan 94 it MUST comply with EU regulations. If it is an older workstation, the company has until the end of 96 to make it comply. Workstation is defined as a VDU plus desk, chair and surroundings. Unfortunately a lot of companies are not complying with the regulations, however if you point out to your line manager that he/she is directly responsible under UK law for your welfare, and can therefore be personally sued/fined, you might get some action. Hope this is of help.

Comment 2: It’s not quite that simple. The rules (among many other things) also take into account how much flexibility there is in your work practices. I use my computer for up 4 hours most days but because I am totally in command of my working practices am still not recognized as a “VDU User”. My workstation complies because I’m short and the desk happens to be at the right height. The only times I have problems is if I forget myself in my enthusiasm and work for long spells without breaks.

Generally speaking however you do need to decide whether a formal workstation assessment is required as soon as you work 1 hour or more a day at the workstation. If the decision is “No” I would recommend that a short resume is written down and signed by interested parties after agreement is reached. Assessment needs to be carried out by a trained assessor as there are many factors involved. Frankly, I suspect the real priority right now is to get all workstations up to standard ready for the end of this year. NB Workstations not used for “WORK” IE used by students or emeritus professors or school children do not come under the regulations.

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