RSI – An over-achiever’s problem?

Question: The RSI Network online newsletter Issue 26 quotes Jody de Falbre as saying: “The image of RSI sufferers as malingerers couldn’t be further from the truth, all the ones I’ve ever met are overachievers, not slackers!” I work for EASAMS, a major software house in the UK, and know of several staff who suffers from RSI. They are all key people in the organisation and we could not afford to lose any of them. It is about time that employers recognised that it is their very best people who are at greatest risk from RSI – probably because they work harder than anyone else! If you see a similar pattern in your organisation, I would be interested to hear from you. Has any research been carried out along these lines? (I’m new to this group, so sorry if this has been raised before).

Answer: Just to say that this is the pattern for many H&S problems. The people who do enough work to hurt themselves are usually either those who take enormous pride in achieving so much or a smaller group who work enormously hard because they believe that that is the only way of retaining their job. These latter usually ignore any safety rules which reduce their ability to produce, which makes them peculiarly vulnerable. There are famous examples of people being injured by their own idleness but they are of interest particularly because this is so infrequent. Sadly, however, the mythology still rumbles on….

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