, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 57–79

The keyboard blues: Modern technology and the rights and risks of people at work

  • Patricia Shipley


Health and safety at work is a moral imperative, but the debates emphasise only the economic and legal sides. Drawing on case material from working with VDUs and other forms of modern technology it is shown that loss of control over their immediate work processes can be stressful and potentially harmful to responsible operators. Autonomy and freedom in work process control enhances the power that workers have to protect their health. It is suggested that unquestioned divisive and dualistic practices at workplaces are a potent and unnecessary reason for this problem.


Health and safety rights at work Health and safety risks UK occupational health provisions VDUs Modern technology Paced work Repetitive strain injury Stress Coping Control Division of labour Dualism Interpersonal relations Ethical imperative 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Shipley
    • 1
  1. 1.Stress Research & Control Centre, Department of Organisational Psychology, Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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