Found an excellent solution to the problem in the form of ExpressScribe a free software package available from click here
It allows the typist to transcribe most sound files, including the .dss format and to start/stop/forward/reverse etc whilst running in the background behind Word etc. It's very easy to use.
As another bonus is that there's a section on rewiring older foot pedals to serial/game port versions in the help section
I hope the information may help others solving an office automation problem