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Friday, May 22, 1998 Published at 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK


RSI victory for bank workers

RSI: Many people believe it does not exist

Five former bank workers who suffered from Repetitive Strain Injury have been awarded £50,000 in compensation after winning a landmark court case.

The former Midland Bank staff said they had suffered "considerable pain" in their arms, necks and shoulders after their work rate was increased.

Judge Byrt, at the Mayor's and City of London Court agreed, finding that the bank was in breach of its duty of care to its employees.

He awarded each of the women, who were based at the bank's processing centre in Surrey, £7,000 each, saying they had been left disabled in the home and unable to carry out simple tasks.

This landmark ruling is a major victory for medical experts, employees and trade unionists who argue that Repetitive Strain Injuries should be recognised by UK employers.

'Pressure of work'

During the six week case earlier in the year, the women argued that they had to make thousands of key strokes every hour on their keyboards.

Combined with the pressure at work and lack of sufficient breaks, the women began suffering upper limb disorders.

In his ruling, Judge Byrt agreed that the "considerable pain" in their right arms, necks and shoulders was caused by the workload.

He added it was unlikely that any of them would be able to return to similar jobs.

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