How is C.K Tools helping tradespeople tackle Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)?

How is C.K Tools helping tradespeople tackle Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)?

Rhiannon Thompson, Trade Marketing Executive at Carl Kammerling International, the home of C.K Tools, discusses the prevalence of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and how C.K Tools is using innovative product development to help tackle the issue.

Did you know that half a million people within the British workforce suffer with RSI? Although commonly associated with extended computer use, those working in construction, electrical and industrial sectors are equally vulnerable, if not more so. Indeed, construction adjacent roles experience some of the highest prevalence of RSI and upper-limb disorders.

The condition (and those related to it), costs the UK around £3 billion each year in lost work hours and production. For those who are self-employed and afflicted by RSI, that cost is carried by them, including lost work hours, treatment, and recovery time.

RSI is a musculo-skeletal disorder that bears symptomatic and physiological similarities to adjacent conditions such as: tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel, and tendinitis. Collectively, these are referred to as ‘upper limb disorders’.

These are debilitating conditions, caused by a number of contributing pathological factors including: inflamed tendons, trapped nerves, restricted blood flow and damaged muscles. Sufferers often find themselves in a cycle where these issues are caused, aggravated and worsened by the condition, with very few treatment options available.

Left untreated, or without lifestyle changes, upper limb disorders will almost definitely not improve.

Treatment options for RSI

Treatment for RSI is limited, and often invasive. Though painkillers can be used alongside other pain-management techniques, these can often hinder the day-to-day life of sufferers, especially those working manually. Steroid injections and physiotherapy can also provide some relief, as can acupuncture and massage, though impartial reports are scant on this.

In extreme cases, upper limb disorders may require surgical intervention. Each year, around 53,000 carpal tunnel procedures are carried out in the UK, with demand for elective procedures set to double by 2030. Each of these surgeries requires a two-week recovery period, which many in work can ill-afford to take.

Creating a healthy work environment

The Health and Safety Executive offers clear guidelines for the prevention and support of RSI in work: use power tools where applicable and appropriate, select tools that are right for the job, consider lighter tools, and those that minimise the amount of force needed.

Here at C.K Tools, we work closely with a panel of tradespeople to develop innovative new products which solve everyday problems. This includes our most recent launch – the C.K Tools E-Driver (T4930) – a lightweight, electronic screwdriver with a torque range of 1-6 Nm. It’s perfectly adaptable for any job at hand.

We know that our end-users are often faced with repetitive tasks that can contribute to the development of RSI, such as replacing socket faceplates and loosening panel screws. An EICR test, for example, requires the removal and reinsertion of dozens of baseplate screws, alongside other processes.

While a necessary aspect of work for electricians, it’s exactly this type of repetitive work, often conducted in tight spaces with limited accessibility, that will contribute to upper limb disorders.

A further contributing factor, working in lower temperatures, is also a necessary condition for many of those in the construction industries. By reducing the time that end-users are exposed to these conditions, we hope to alleviate the strain caused by the environment, allowing users to complete their work in shorter time periods, to the same high standards.

Charging takes one hour, and provides 200 minutes of low-strain, high-accuracy support, with a battery indicator to let users know when it’s time for them and the driver to rest, and recharge. The C.K Tools E-driver is super-lightweight, weighing in at just 326 grams.

C.K Tools prides itself on the quality, innovation and reliability of its products. With the launch of the E-Driver, we’re applying those principles to a device that promotes the safety and wellbeing of our users. We’ve price-pointed carefully, making this versatile piece of equipment an achievable addition for any toolkit.

Initial response has been excellent, and we eagerly await the feedback and testimonials of our customers, and theirs, regarding this exciting new development.

Visit the C.K Tools E-Driver product information page here

Get more help and support with RSI and related conditions here

Read more industry feature articles here

Related posts