What should my employer do to prevent RSI?

Employers have a legal duty to carry out what is called a risk assessment of any hazardous task or equipment.

Hazardous in this context does not just cover obviously dangerous tasks such as handling chemicals, but anything at work that may cause injury.

It should therefore include office workstations and other clerical activities that could cause RSI. In the jargon-filled world of occupational health, you may hear your computer workstation talked about as 'display screen equipment' or DSE.

If you have union safety reps, your employer should discuss the risk assessment with them.

In 2013, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produced a new free short leaflet, Managing upper limb disorders in the workplace . If there is no union safety rep where you work, you can give this leaflet to your employer to help explain what needs to change about your work.

Employers must follow the advice set out in the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations.

There is also information on legal and other standards for prevention and control of work-related upper limb disorders in several chapters of the TUC's book Hazards at Work: Organising for safe and healthy workplaces.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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