HC Deb 12 December 1990 vol 182 cc444-5W
Mr. Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what research has been conducted by his Department into means of preventing tenosynovitis; and in which industries workers suffer from tenosynovitis;

(2) how many actions for damage to health by tenosynovitis have been initiated in each of the last five years;

(3) what is his estimate of the number of people who suffer from arm or wrist damage from the repetitive work syndrome called tenosynovitis.

Mr. Forth

Tenosynovitis is one of a number of musculo-skeletal disorders affecting the hand and arm which can be brought on by working conditions, particularly by repetitive grasping and twisting performed under time pressures. These upper limb disorders can occur throughout industry and are not specific to particular sectors.

The Health and Safety Executive has recently published a booklet, "Work related upper limb disorders: a guide to prevention", drawing on the following research which it has funded: Clinical epidemiological study of relations between upper limb soft tissue disorders and repetitive movements at work". Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh. Research Report TM/88/19; Development of an aid to identifying task elements which may predispose individuals to work related upper limb disorders". Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh. Research Report TM/90/08; Occurrence and mechanism of occupational repetition strain injuries". University of Birmingham. ISBN 070441094X

There are no reliable estimates of the number of workers affected by tenosynovitis. But the first study listed found a 4.8 per cent. incidence of tenosynovitis (21 cases) from a sample of 437 individuals presenting to orthopaedic clinics with upper limb disorders and who had worked during the previous two years.

I regret that information on actions for damage to health by tenosynovitis is not available.