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Repetitive Strain Injury

Volume 173: debated on Thursday 24 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what research his Department is doing or commissioning into the problems of repetitive strain injury.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) supported a major study at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh, whose report can be found in the Library, deposited paper No. 5131. It has funded a further study by the institute which aims to produce an ergometric guide or assessment aid to enable non-experts to identify work activities which may lead to upper limb disorders. A report is expected in July.The Health and Safety Executive has also funded a study by the university of Birmingham, which attempts to link specific upper limb disorders to particular work routines, to analyse these routines and to evaluate methods aimed at prevention. The report is still awaited.The Health and Safety Executive intends to follow up this work by commissioning further studies to investigate repetitive strain injuries in specific occupational groups, and is currently negotiating with the Institute of Occupational Medicine to carry out a study of keyboard users.In addition to these extra-mural studies the Health and Safety Executive is itself carrying out a wide-ranging study of musculo-skeletal symptoms in supermarket cashier operators.