Digital has been forced to pay out almost $6 million (#3.5 million) to three RSI victims.
In the first verdict of its kind, a US district court in New York ordered the company to compensate the women, who claimed to have suffered debilitating wrist and arm injuries caused by Digital keyboards.
More than $5 million was awarded to the most severely injured of the three, Patricia Geressy, who used to work for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Since her injuries became severe in 1991, she has undergone four operations and now has withered arms, the court was told.
The other two plaintiffs received $306,000 and $278,000 respectively.
Although similar RSI cases have been filed against companies such as Apple, IBM and AT&T, previous juries have found in favour of the companies concerned.
Digital said it may appeal against the ruling. In a statement, it claimed the verdict was "inconsistent with relevant scientific knowledge, the evidence, and with the law", and added its products were "safe and conform to all applicable industry standards".
A spokeswoman for the UK Health & Safety Executive said: "It's very important people know there are regulations about this which employers must follow.
If you feel discomfort, talk to your employer and get something done.
We would like to see people take action before they get disabled."
In a UK test case brought by an RSI sufferer in 1993, it was ruled that the condition does not exist. High Court Judge John Prosser called sufferers "eggshell personalities who needed to get a grip on themselves". He said RSI was more psychosomatic than physical and has "no place in the medical books".
RSI alert: help is at hand
Advice on screen and keyboard work is provided in two government booklets, available from HMSO:
Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 - Guidance on Regulations ISBN 0118863312
Work-related Upper Limb Disorders - A Guide to Prevention ISBN 0118855654
The Health & Safety Executive also has a Web site at www.open.gov.uk/hse/hsehome.htm
Manufacturers who provide warnings on equipment include:
Compaq - the first to issue warnings in 1994
NEC - puts a bright orange sticker on the keyboard warning of the possible links between keyboard use and RSI, and preloaded software discussing ergonomics
Microsoft - the 'natural' keyboard carries a warning.
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