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Ergonomics and Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) - University Guidance



This Guidance outlines a progressive support plan for staff to prevent and reduce RSI. Four stages of support are recommended; self-help, departmental intervention, Occupational Health assessment and, finally, specialist advice from UoD-IT and Disability Services in prolonged or complex cases.


Stage 1 – Preventative Measures

It is important to take personal responsibility to reduce the chances of developing RSI. Staff are advised to review and implement the guidance below:

Stage 2 – Initial RSI Symptoms

If Stage 1 has been followed and RSI issues have been confirmed (departments may wish to have medical evidence provided by Occupational Health, GP or University Doctor), the following action is recommended:

If you find that the equipment or changes in your working patterns/habits continue to reduce or resolve your RSI pain, it is recommended that you implement the adjustments on a permanent basis. Your department should be asked to consider funding the equipment required to support this.


Stage 3 – RSI Leading to Absenteeism or Reduced Performance

Stages 1 & 2 should be followed first unless a medical professional has confirmed the member of staff has a significant or on-going RSI type injury that has not been/cannot be resolved using the guidance in Stages 1 & 2.



Stage 4 – Referral to Disability Services or UoD-IT Usability & Accessibility Officer


Ergonomic Equipment

Ergonomic equipment can be purchased through standard University Suppliers. If you need advice, please contact Procurement for suitable suppliers.



Workrave is free software made available on both the Staff and Student University Desktops. You can also download and install Workrave on your own device for free from the manufacturer's site. The Workrave Information leafletand YouTube video will help you to get started.

Recommended settings for Workrave are:

Increase the break length and decrease the period of time between breaks until pain free working is achieved. Finding the optimum settings may take some time. Once pain free working has been achieved, gradually decrease break length and increase the time between breaks. If your pain returns, revert back to the pain free working settings.