Repetitive Stress Injuries

Are they really a serious health threat?


In offices around the country, splints on the wrists of keyboard operators reflect the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. Other repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) afflict blue-collar workers, athletes and performing artists. To combat RSI, many companies have adopted ergonomics programs, which seek to adapt working conditions to employees' safety and comfort needs. But many business executives and members of Congress worry that ergonomics programs could far exceed cost estimates. They also question whether RSIs are as prevalent as labor unions contend. Some experts even wonder whether most such complaints are work-related at all. Now, in the wake of the Republicans' sweep in the midterm congressional elections, there is doubt that proposed ergonomic standards will win approval anytime soon.

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