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Laboratory technician

Though RSI is commonly perceived to be a recent phenomenon, it is certainly not confined to computer users. In fact most industrial and manufacturing activities throughout the ages, which have involved any form of repetitive movement, have had their own overuse syndromes. Soft tissue injuries to muscles, tendons and nerves in the hand, arms, neck and shoulders are known by a variety of names. Tenosynovitis, for example, is a recognised industrial injury for occupations involving frequent or repeated movements of the hand or wrist.

Laboratory technicians may face the following risk factors which can contribute to the development of RSI; awkward postures, repetitive actions, gripping and twisting movements and insufficient breaks. Cytology screeners may also face similar risks.

The trade union UNISON is active in protecting and supporting health service workers and has produced its own information on RSI. UNISON publications are normally available through health and safety representatives or branch secretaries.