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20 July 1998

New guide to working safely with VDUs published
There has been an enormous growth in recent years in the number of people engaged in work on a VDU. It is estimated that there are now around 5.5 million VDU workers in the UK.

But this growth in VDU work has brought with it an increase in associated health problems such as eye strain and headaches, stress, backache and repetitive strain injury (RSI). Around 100,000 VDU users suffer the symptoms of RSI every year. Furthermore, fears remain that radiation emissions from monitors are dangerous and that VDU work may be linked to miscarriage and birth defects.

A new booklet published today by the Labour Research Department (LRD) is a guide to working safely with VDUs that will be invaluable for both users themselves and trade union and safety reps negotiating with employers for best practice.

It explains the law covering work with VDUs and includes guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and from trade unions. It also looks at some of the particular health hazards associated with VDUs and at how safe working practices can minimise the risk to health. In particular it looks at RSI, its causes, prevention and treatment along with the latest legal cases and claiming compensation. There is also a section on VDU work and pregnancy.

Throughout, the booklet provides advice and guidance from trade unions and safety organisations and promotes best practice to creating a safe and healthy working environment for VDU workers.

Notes to editors

Working safely with VDUs - LRD's guide to the law and best practice is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?2.95 or ?10 for non-labour movement bodies.
LRD Booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?24.50 (?62.85 for non-labour movement bodies). LRD publishes 11 booklets a year.
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 83 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 54 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For further information contact Andrea Oates on 0171 902 9826.

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