Repetitive Stress Injuries and the Computer Keyboard: If There Still Is No Causal Relationship Between Use and Injury, Is It Wise to Warn?


Craig T. Liljestrand


VOL. XIII • Spring 1995 • NO. 3 (table of contents)

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Computer monitors and keyboards are very common in todayís modern workplace, so itís no surprise that the fastest growing category of workplace personal injury claims result from repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). Office workers have tried to tie the frequent and regular use of their computer keyboards to various debilitating hand and wrist disorders, and as a result such injuries account for 3/5 of all occupational injuries.

Currently it is unclear whether there is a causal relationship between the use of computer keyboards and RSIs and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has suggested that there is no causative link between usage and injury. Without reliable medical or scientific evidence showing a relationship between use and injury, the question arises, is it necessary for computer manufacturers to begin placing warnings on their keyboards which urge users to pay more attention to safety and comfort?

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