LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF KEYBOARD USE
A Simple Cure?
Employers have a legal duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to prevent work-related RSIs, and to stop any existing cases from getting worse.
It makes sound economic sense for Human Resource Departments to buy a Maltron fully ergonomic keyboard for anybody starting to suffer from CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) or other RSI (Repetative Strain Injury) associated with keyboard use.
Kath S. from a Shropshire solicitors bought one for litigation assistant Karen Morris who was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists. She encouraged Karen to persevere in spite of the “strange” shape of the Maltron keyboard. Six weeks later Karen no longer needed her wrist braces and reported “I enjoy typing again, and the best benefit is no pain. Not one days pain since using the keyboard, which is amazing”
This decision by a Human Resource department to try out a simple “cure” for keyboard-induced pain has avoided time off work, injections, physiotherapy and even surgery. It has shown the most cost-effective way to keep an expensively trained skilled keyboard operator as an active staff member, and at the same time remove the risk of a compensation claim.
This change to using a Maltron keyboard has been effective in thousands of cases so far, and has enabled Duty of Care in its widest interpretation. Care for the person. Care for the company’s reputation as an employer, and care for the bottom line.
The Real Cost of RSI and other Disabling Injuries.
It costs all of us UK taxpayers around £160,000 when someone in the prime of life is struck down with a disability, stops work and has to be cared for by the state for, say, twenty years. But this money is saved when the individual concerned gets back to work. Indeed one organisation, Ability Net, got thirty disabled people back to work in 1998 at a cost of no more than £7,000 and in doing so saved taxpayers a cool £5m. Not forgetting the social benefits of having thirty self confident people back as net contributors to society instead of feeling a burden to the state!
Extrapolating these figures with respect to the Maltron ergonomically designed keyboard over the last twenty years, Stephen Hobday thinks that he has saved the taxpayers over £100m as he has got around 2000 people suffering from RSI back to work after typical diagnoses such as "You'll never work again".
The TUC has recently published a report that says employers are ignoring the massive costs to their businesses of RSI and back strain at work. With over a third of a million sufferers taking ten million days off work a year Government statistics show that musculo-skeletal disorders, viz RSI and back strain, are the second most common work-related disease in Great Britain. The cost is estimated as £2b per year. The TUC goes on to say that employers are "not recording the number of sufferers or the amount of days lost to these problems, nor are they providing treatment for those suffering. One way forward, suggests the TUC, is for the Insurance companies to "encourage" employers to increase rehabilitation and treatment offered to back strain and RSI sufferers.
Statistics suggest that around 30% of the £2b per year is down to RSI but there is no breakdown for keyboard-related cases. If this is as low as 5%, getting somebody back to work with a Maltron ergonomically designed keyboard must be worth some £30m per year and consequently a staggering £600m over twenty years to the tax payer! "
From: RSI Recovery - The Way Forward
The Legal Point
The fact that the MALTRON keyboard has been available for so long and is now proved to be so effective, puts special responsibility and "duty of care" on employers and professional advisers to become fully aware of it. They must then ensure that where there is any intensive keyboard work, the assessment and advice given includes the recommendation that, as a proactive measure to avoid the problem and costs of keyboard related RSI:-
It should be experienced by all operators by means of a hire trial so that they will be aware that there is a likely answer to the problem should it arise.
Where there is any report of pain, it should be installed without delay and the operator given adequate time to adjust to the new shape as stated above.
Paper and screen based adaptation courses are available
While there is no certainty that a MALTRON keyboard will give recovery, experience so far, as reported above, shows that RSI sufferers who do adapt to it obtain a substantial reduction in pain with improved freedom of movement and recovery of career prospects. From this it follows that failure to offer this option could leave both Company and adviser open to a charge of failure to exercise "Due Care" in the event of legal action.
Check out Court Judgment Data re wrulds and get more than a little worried!
You could well be surprised by the preponderance of claims associated with keyboard use. With defendants typically paying out £40,000 damages, and court costs on top, it must be time to take another in-depth look at the Maltron keyboard, which has got thousands of sufferers from keyboard-induced pain back to work.Karen using Maltron dual hand keyboard
DSE advisors need to note that if a keyboard user can be got back to work by a simple change of keyboard, "Duty of Care" will have been shown, the risk of a possible court financial penalty removed, a skilled operator returned to work, and a return on investment of up to 100:1 achieved.
A typical case is that of Karen Morris of Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors who was a long-term sufferer of carpal tunnel syndrome and RSI that affected her hand and arm movements. She took delivery of a Maltron keyboard a year ago and now reports that with her Maltron, she enjoys typing again and is back to her previous speed of 90 words per minute. She finds that working on a flat keyboard on an occasional basis brings back the pain, and also that she now actively dislikes flat keyboards.
The MALTRON keyboard, which is specifically designed to fit hands, has been given a Four-Star award by the prestigious PC Magazine based in New York. This supports the previous Five Mouse rating awarded by MacUser magazine with the comment “Perfect for those suffering from or trying to elude RSI”.