SOURCE: Torbay Holdings, Inc.

November 15, 2005 18:47 ET

Torbay Holdings, Inc.: The Repealed US Ergonomic Program Law Officially Recognized Computer Mice as an Injury Hazard

MINEOLA, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 15, 2005 -- Torbay Holdings, Inc. (OTC BB: TRBY) announced today that the repealed Ergonomics Program (EP) demonstrates that the US Government's Dept of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), recognized that the use of computer mice (amongst other tools of employment, including keyboards) as a workplace injury hazard. EP, under the OSH Act, came into law and required compliance by October 2001. It was repealed in March 2001 as being "unduly burdensome and overly broad regulation." Under EP it could be considered that the use of wrist twisting and grip requiring computer mouse (and also keyboards) would have been restricted to no more than a total of four hours per day in any workplace wherein a single incidence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurred in a computer worker.

It should be clearly understood that the EP is not prevailing Law. The purpose of this disclosure is in the relevance of OSHA's findings that precipitated their view as to a need for an EP. These findings have relevance to the business of this Company insofar as the extensive research undertaken by OSHA is probably the most authoritative study into ergonomics ever performed. In our opinion OSHA's findings support those of this company, validating our product designs and Anti.Fatigue™ strategy. They may also, again in our opinion, set precedents in regards to prevailing law today, which could include product liability labeling and employment practice under the current Office Safety and Health Act.

A link is provided to a more lengthy discussion of 811 pages of Federal Register documentation that has been reviewed. Links to these Federal Register documents are provided in that document so that all extracts can be viewed in context. Key examples of Federal Register extracts that pertain to the use of computer mice:

"When workers have to hold a tool without putting it down, they must maintain the muscles in contraction. Mouse users who grip a mouse constantly because their work requires so much click and drag also experience these low but constant forces. Over time, fatigue of muscles and inflammation of tendons occurs."

"For example, measurements of the weight of a work piece or the finger forces necessary to move a computer mouse may substantially underestimate the potential damage to the muscles, tendons, joints and other soft tissues involved."

"There is abundant record evidence that early detection and intervention can halt the progression of most MSDs, and reduce their severity. On the other hand, where medical treatment and ergonomic interventions are delayed, it is more likely that conservative treatment will be less effective or will not even be an available option, or that the MSD condition will not be reversible and the employee will be permanently disabled. For example, if carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and other nerve-related MSDs go untreated long enough, damage to the nerves will be irreversible (the nerve dies)."

An OSHA definition of a Neutral or wrist untwisted posture: "Neutral posture is the position of a body joint has requires the least amount of muscle activity to maintain. For example, the wrist is neutral in a handshake position, the shoulder is neutral when the elbow is near the waist, the back is neutral when standing up straight."

Under EP: In the event that a recognized MSD event such as CTS occurred then the following limitation could have been applied to all employees who used computers as that would then have been designated as a "Problem Job" area.

The OSHA prescribed response was to limit "Using an input device, such as keyboard and/or mouse, in a steady manner for more than 4 hours total in a workday."

The use of a computer mouse posture in which there is a requirement to twist wrists and apply constant grip is recognized by OSHA as a hazard and therefore could or should fall under the scope of Section 5(a)(1) of the current and prevailing OSH Act. This is referred to as the General Duty Clause, which requires employers to provide work and a work environment free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm."

Product Disclaimers: In general "on product" disclaimers tend not to refer to specific risk, whereas OSHA's conclusions as to MSD hazard are specific in relation to both posture and clinical outcome. It could be considered that a disclaimer might be called for such as, and for example only, "OSHA consider the use of a twisted wrist posture and constant grip for more than 4 hours total a day as a significant risk in the development of Musculoskeletal Disorders affecting the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders."

Tom Large, President & CEO, stated: "It is ironic that our research into gaining qualified opinion in regards to twisted wrists and Section 508 brought our attention to these documents. Lack of attention to the 'wrist twist and pinch or excessive grip' Standard of Section 508 Law could mean in some cases the provision of Accessible Technology to the benefit of persons with disability, according to OSHA [from the CTS and nerve damage quote above], could create the possibility under the circumstances described for disability. Yet despite this Federal Government spends billions of dollars on IT, which includes standalone computer mice or a computer mouse as a part of a system, under vendor self assertions of Section 508 compliance, or under no apparent assertion at all. Vendor assertions are public documents and can be found via the Section508.gov website.

"A combination of our Neutral Posture Gripless hardware design and Neutral Posture Clickless software, supported by Brakemoor™ passive break Anti.Fatigue™ software, we believe provides a comprehensive solution to the hazardous circumstances identified by OSHA that impact both keyboard and mouse users. It is gratifying to see that in relation to computer mouse input specifically and postural fatigue in general this Company and eight years of investigation by the Dept of Labor and OSHA have reached the same conclusions.

"EP law came in and out of effect some 18 months before we commenced sales of our products. Were the same Law proposed today, which could restrict the use of our products in the workplace to just four hours total per day, we would feel compelled to disclose that fact to the market. Along with consideration as to any potential impact that both OSHA findings and the Law may have upon this Company's business; as we have done in the past over Section 508 issues [that where resolved in our favor].

"Torbay shareholders should also appreciate that the EP did not anticipate the potential for computer mouse design improvements, such as we have made nor the impact that effective break timer software might have. If EP still prevailed today it might have taken an act of congress for us to have our product designs seen as not subscribing to the hazardous postures of other computer mice and have the four hour a day limitation waived in our favor. The same applies for our software that seeks to help manage the fatigue from currently unavoidable conventional keyboard posture. I believe President Bush said at the time of EP repeal, 'let industry sort out its own problems.' Our products respond to that call and, in regards to computer input, can reduce or eliminate all of the risks that OSHA identified as being associated with computer mouse designs of that time and help manage the fatigue risk of keyboards users via the use of our Brakemoor™ passive break timer software.

"We wish it to be clearly understood that we are prepared to discuss commercial rate licenses or product provision to all who currently sell what we consider, based upon OSHA's findings, are 'recognized hazard' technology mice. This is to ensure that the kinetic of the market is not disrupted and that our technology is made available to all who might benefit by it. This applies to hardware and software products."

Designer Appliances, Inc. is leading the way in the development of Anti.Fatigue™ tools and technologies to manage the impact that fatigue is now understood to have upon computer users. Anti.Fatigue™ design conforms to Universal Design criteria so produces products that are more "Accessible and Assistive" to all, including persons with dexterity impairment or disability. We are all capable of fatigue.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: The statements contained in this release that are not historical, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, certain delays and risks detailed from time to time in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Links: More in depth document; www.aerobicmouse.com/recognizing_hazard.pdf

Contact Information