Question: There are a lot of institutions that are dealing with the prevention of RSI, the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment has set up a special website with information about RSI. A lot of employers are buying pause software, programs that advice you to take a break after a certain period of time. My question is: Can you tell me something about the situation in the UK?
How many VDU workers are there,and how many of them have complaints?
Are there special institutions dealing with the prevention of RSI?
Are you known with the pause software?
Answer 1: In the Netherlands, RSI is hot! In the UK it is Luke warm at most it is not yet being taken as seriously as it should be. There is a special institute that helps employees making a claim to their employers. Recently, the first claim has been approved of by the court. We do not have any such thing as far as I know, except if you are a member of a Trade Union. Taking a legal case is quite difficult here as you have to be able to prove that your work caused the problem and a lot of people don’t believe that RSI really exists. It can often cost a lot of money too.There are a lot of institutions that are dealing with the prevention of RSI, the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment has set up a special website with information about RSI.There is some talk by certain Government Ministers about the fact that we must take action in the UK but I have not seen any evidence of anything working yet. There is no publicity from the Government. I do not think our Government takes it as seriously as the Dutch one is doing. Office Health and Safety is run by Local Government in the main and whilst there are many laws, it is not policed and many employers seem to ignore the requirements and get away with breaking the law. A lot of employers are buying pause software, programs that advice you to take a break after a certain period of time. These are known but not widely used or promoted to employers. Many people on this list use them. But taking breaks isn’t the only answer or even the cause in some people’s cases.
VDU workers: Most people who work in an office use a VDU to some degree or other but I don’t know how many or how many complaints have. I don’t think anyone’s done a study yet. Then again, most of them probably don’t know what RSI is. It is only just starting to get any mention at all on TV or in the newspapers. There is I think a lack of education about RSI here, both to employees and employers. Hope this is of use.