EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.01.17

The Sickness of the EPO – Part VII: 40% of EPO Workers Have Upper Limb Disorder (ULD), Battistelli Covers That Up

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli lauds himself, claiming decrease in sickness by merely denying people’s health problems (cruel, irresponsible, and possibly illegal)

Musculoskeletal disorder and repetitive strain injury
References: Repetitive strain injury and musculoskeletal disorders

Summary: The unpleasant truth about the health effects of EPO work and the strain induced by a management which is in deep denial about it, motivating people to just hide their suffering, disability etc. (for fear of invalidity, incapacity, ultimately dismissal)

RECENTLY, EPO management publicly bemoaned complaints from staff that the tools available for the job were unsuitable (e.g. incapable of detecting prior art through searches, not ergonomic and so on), but there are very legitimate concerns and unless staff is permitted to express/voice these concerns, people will suffer and some may eventually die young.

Today we decided to take our coverage of EPO up a notch, as big things may be about to happen. For those just joining us (we received about 30,000 views on our EPO wiki page yesterday alone), here are the previous 6 parts of this series, which is a must-read for insiders and also concerned outsiders, who include eminent politicians:

How many people out there know about Upper Limb Disorder (ULD) at the EPO? It’s somewhat of a taboo subject. “Upper limb disorders (ULDs) affect the arms, from fingers to shoulder, and neck,” says the British government. “They are often called repetitive strain injuries, ‘RSI’, cumulative trauma disorder or occupational overuse syndrome.”

“The problem was so big in fact that the EPO itself had several external studies commissioned on ULD. In 2004, for example, the Dutch research institute TNO concluded that some 40% of EPO workers had ULD.”I’ve had one or two colleagues with that issue, but that represents less than 5% of the whole. In the EPO, statistically speaking, this is an epidemic that just leaps off the scale.

“You articles about medical aspects at the EPO caught my attention,” one reader told us. We soon learned that Upper Limb Disorder or ULD had for many years been a problem at the EPO. The problem was so big in fact that the EPO itself had several external studies commissioned on ULD. In 2004, for example, the Dutch research institute TNO concluded that some 40% of EPO workers had ULD.

TNO’s English version of the site yields 15 results when searching for “Upper Limb Disorder” and this suggests that they have done a lot of research in the area. Among the results (14):

  1. Exposure Assessment of Upper Limb Repetitive Movements: A Consensus Document
  2. Effects of Cued Micro-Breaks on Self-Reported Severity and Recovery of Upper Limb Disorders in Computer Operators
  3. Effectiveness of the RSI quickscan a preventive program on neck and upper limb symptoms for office workers
  4. Effects of software programs stimulating regular breaks and exercises on work-related neck and upper-limb disorders
  5. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders : back to work report
  6. Are software characteristics related to musculoskeletal disorders in computer workers?
  7. The (cost-)effectiveness of a lifestyle physical activity intervention in addition to a work style intervention on the recovery from neck and upper limb symptoms in computer workers
  8. Predictive validity of the Hand Arm Risk assessment Method (HARM)
  9. The development of a practical tool for risk assessment of manual work – the HAT-tool
  10. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders : prevention report
  11. The predictive validity of the RSI QuickScan questionnaire with respect to arm, shoulder and neck symptoms in computer workers
  12. Gender issues in safety and health at work : a review
  13. The effectiveness of a work style intervention and a lifestyle physical activity intervention on the recovery from neck and upper limb symptoms in computer workers
  14. The effectiveness of a work style intervention and a lifestyle physical activity intervention on the recovery from neck and upper limb symptoms in computer workers

TNO certainly knows this area. It studied the EPO 13 years ago, but these studies of the EPO are no longer performed nowadays. In the past, occupational diseases were recognised by the EPO, but Battistelli removed this altogether. How convenient. We’ll try to publish the results of the study, but we need some leaks related to that.

Staff representatives are probably aware of this issue, but rarely is the subject being raised or publicly brought up anymore. In fact, Battistelli recently fired the person who was the staff representatives’ health expert (for a long time), Els Hardon. Again: How convenient! There was also Ph. Couckuyt in The Hague.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/7/2019: SUSE Gets CEO From SAP, MuQSS 0.193 Scheduler, VLC Bug

    Links for the day



  2. Links 22/7/2019: Linux 5.3 RC1, GNU Hyperbole 7.0.3, DebConf19

    Links for the day



  3. Don't Kick the Puppy That is Suing Linux Using Patents While Bribing Officials, Threatening Critics and Hijacking the Linux Foundation

    Jim Zemlin is protecting the "puppy" (to use his own analogy), Microsoft, while getting paid about/almost a million dollars per year (about the same amount of money Microsoft pays his PAC)



  4. EPO Gradually Becoming the World's Most Permissive (Low Patent Quality) Patent Office by Consciously Violating the EPC

    Today's European Patent Office is making innovation a lot harder for Europeans; it limits what people can freely do, e.g. what computer code they can implement, and only lawyers are loving it



  5. Tweets Are Not Journalism But Succinct Unverified Hearsay; Time to Treat Them Accordingly

    Childish public discourse can be attributed to SMS-sized nonsense posted in a hurry by career provocateurs, not grown-ups (becoming a waste of time for actual reporters who spend hours/days correcting the record after these go 'viral'); this is killing responsible journalism, necessitating a rethink



  6. The Web is Not JavaScript

    Simple sites respect visitors; rather than and instead of exploiting them or passing burdens to user-end browsers we should focus on text and links — the very core components of hypertext as opposed to bells and whistles



  7. Links 21/7/2019: DXVK 1.3.1, GameMode, Mutter 3.33.4

    Links for the day



  8. Links 20/7/2019: Weston 7.0 Alpha, Nageru 1.9.0

    Links for the day



  9. Companies That Collapse Because the European Patent Office (EPO) Gave Them Fake Patents in a Hurry

    False hopes and false promises won’t do any favours to European Patents, whose legal certainty suffers because Campinos and Battistelli measure nothing but ‘production’ (quantity) rather than quality of patents



  10. Slack Committed a Very Major Crime That Can Cost Many Billions If Not Trillions in Damages for Years to Come

    The inevitable has happened to Slack, which no longer deserves to exist as a company; moreover, the people who ran the company must be held criminally accountable



  11. Demand for European Patents Will Continue to Decrease If a Lot of European Patents Turn Out to be Invalid, Worthless

    The EPO's abandonment of patent justice and quality (in pursuit of so-called 'production' targets) is likely to doom the Office as the whole or render it vastly less relevant to the rest of the world



  12. 35 U.S.C. § 101 Still in Tact in the United States and Software Patents Rot Away

    The United States, where the number of granted patents decreased last year, becomes more productive; there are more signs that patent maximalism (patent litigation, patent scope etc.) has receded



  13. Links 19/7/2019: Deepin 15.11 and GNU/Linux Back on GPD MicroPC

    Links for the day



  14. Violence is Not Free Speech and Laws Exist Against Violence

    Free speech is certainly under attack and the debate is being framed within the context of Nazism; but this overlooks the fact that there are actual death threats and calls for genocide in the mix



  15. Links 19/7/2019: Oracle Linux 8.0, Latte Dock 0.9 Beta and PCLinuxOS KDE Darkstar 2019.07

    Links for the day



  16. Why Does Jim Zemlin Publicly Congratulate Microsoft?

    The signs aren't particularly encouraging when one considers that the leadership of the Linux Foundation is a fan of Microsoft and sometimes connected to Microsoft



  17. 2 Days Later (Case in Progress) and Still Media Silence About G 2/19

    The very legitimacy of years' worth of rulings and the EPO's abusive attacks on judges are under the microscope; but the media isn't paying any attention, perhaps deliberately



  18. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  19. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  21. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  22. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  23. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  24. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  25. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  26. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  27. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  28. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day



  29. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  30. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts