HUDDERSFIELD employers are being urged to do more to help prevent repetitive strain injury.
The call by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy comes as latest figures show there has been no improvement in tackling the problem in Yorkshire in the last two years.
The region’s rates from the Health and Safety Executive show an increase in the number of people affected by musculoskeletal upper limb or neck disorders – such as RSI – caused or made worse by work.
A shocking 1.13 people per every 100 workers suffered problems in 2007-2008 compared with 1.05 people in 2005-2006.
Currently employers have a legal duty to prevent the risk of injury or illnesses.
However, the latest statistics suggest preventative action to reduce the risk of RSI is still lacking, causing many thousands of workers to develop the debilitating condition.
Pauline Cole, spokeswoman for the CSP and member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics, said: “There is a clear opportunity for employers to do more to provide occupational health services both with regard to prevention of RSI and rehabilitation. The CSP is calling on the Government to both encourage and enforce measures to address this with legislation, combined with incentives and best practice guidance
“We may then, after the frustration of many years of no progress, begin to see some reduction in the rates of this almost completely preventable condition.”
She welcomed the Government’s welfare reform proposals including measures to support staff returning to work after health problems, such as RSI.
But argued the need for more to be done to prevent RSI from occurring in the first place.
The condition costs employers around £300m per year in lost working time, sick pay and administration.
An estimated 2.8 million working days were also lost in 2007-08 due to RSI, with on average each person affected taking 13.3 days off sick.