A court judgement ordering Midland Bank to compensate staff claiming to be suffering from Repetitive Strain Injury has been welcomed by The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
The body said the decision was a major victory in the battle to have the condition - most commonly associated with computer use - officially acknowledged as a medical complaint.
Medical experts have been divided for years over whether RSI is a genuine condition, or exists only in the minds of sufferers.
RSI symptoms include neck, arm and hand pain; thought to be the result of constant keyboard use.
Yesterday, judges threw out Midland’s appeal against an earlier ruling requiring it to pay £60,000 in compensation to five processing centre workers who claimed to suffer from RSI.
The CSP has long campaigned to have RSI recognised as an industrial injury and believes the high profile finding will help its cause.
"With this official status, employers will be compelled to protect their staff," CSP chief executive Phil Gray said in a statement.
"This means regular risk assessments, guaranteed regular breaks from repetitive tasks, training on how to avoid injury and jobs designed around staff and not the other way around."
Employee groups also welcomed the judgement.
A spokeswoman for Unison, the country’s largest union of office workers, said it should serve as a warning to employers that they needed to take steps to protect their staff against the pain of RSI.
"We’ve known for a very long time that RSI is a very serious medical condition - it’s taken a long time to prove that fact," the spokeswoman said.
Chair of the British Computer Society’s legal affairs committee, Ron McQuaker, said the judgement should serve to highlight the design shortfalls of computer hardware.
"My own view is that a radical review of the conventional VDU and workstation is very long overdue," McQuaker said.
"Compared to the advances in software, advances in the physical design of the equipment people have to use is in the dark ages."
"If the industry takes this on board it ought to be good news."
A spokeswoman for the Midland Bank said it was disappointed by the court’s finding as it believed its work practices were of the highest standard.
"Midland has an ongoing commitment to health and safety and to provide a safe working environment for staff," the spokeswoman said.
The bank constantly reviewed its work practices and did not plan to make any specific changes as a result of the judgement, she said.
A further 31 staff are pursuing RSI cases against the bank. Midland did not expect a flood of new claims following the court’s decision, the spokeswoman added.
HP and Centrica are the first industry partners to sign up to the government's new Code
New ice grows faster but is also more vulnerable to weather and wind
With a crackdown on cheats is coming in November, PUBG rushes to fix matchmaking problems introduced in Update #22
New material uses carbon dioxide from the air to repair and reinforce itself