I've not seen much of a problem with RSI or ergonomics in my workplace.
I work in a pretty run of the mill office space. It's not a makeshift data-center in the corner of a manufacturing facility, and it's not one of these new age (Generation d) hives with slides, firemen poles and parking places for scooters. Just a cube farm with desks for everyone.
I do software engineering, code maintenance, DB design, UI development, documentation... Again, the group I work in is too small to be completely specialized, so there's a variety of work for everyone.
When I came into the group, I was assigned a PC with a 15" monitor. I said I would have liked a bigger one, to see more real-estate and to not strain my eyes at too high a res for the screen. I was led to a storage room and given my choice of monitor - a 17" Trinitron is much better than a 21" monster.
When doing an extended run with the development of a pretty busy GUI, with lots and lots of on-screen controls that had to look 'just so', I noticed my wrist start to go a little numb. Too much mousing. I mentioned this to my immediate upper, and was given a new mouse-pad, with a gel wrist rest, the next day.
The new pad helped a little but didn't really solve the problem. After a few days, I went to Staples at lunch time, bought a Logitech Mouseman, and I've not had a problem since. My mousing is a little slower, because the new device just can't be thrown around the same as a mouse, but I can be on it much longer without strain. Management offered to refund my $29.95, but I declined. I have no problem taking some responsibility for my own comfort.
A few months ago my work group was issued cumfy new chairs (probably in lieu of a bonus. :) )
Ergonomics are something that is easily blown out of proportion. There are plenty of people who think that the company should provide everything from Cinema displays to foot massages, just because you show up for work. There are also plenty of people who bust their hump carrying monitors all day, without so much as a thought that they should get a cart.
Government regulation is a good thing when it comes to forcing compliance with basic safety and well-being needs of people who perform routine and extended tasks within their job description. There is a certain level of lighting which is necessary. There is a certain amount of space a person needs to work. Crouching in front of a 12" amber screen which flickers at 55Hz, for 10 hours a day, is certainly not 'good working conditions'.
But, in response to 'sore-wrists', it is just a job. If it hurts you that much, you are free to quit. Stubbornly working yourself into a medical condition and then antagonising your employer with the fact is nothing short of stupid. I'm sure if you'd addressed the issue before it became a problem, your employer would have been much more likely to work with you. FWIW, I'm glad you won your case, but you should have avoided the problem altogether.
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