Back awareness week is the 4-8th October and according to a Labour Force Survey (2018-2019) over 498,000 people suffered with some form of work-related musculoskeletal disorders of which 200,000 cases related to back pain. Remember, its bad news when your back goes out more than you do!
A whopping 6.9million workdays were lost due to musculoskeletal disorders. Backache is not always related to an underlying condition, it can be caused by injury, strained muscles, herniated discs, or other medical conditions.
Here at SigTech Rail we protect our worker force by ensuring that they follow our strict manual handling operational procedures to ensure that they avoid carrying out any work activities which may cause back pain or worse an injury.
The causes of back pain at work are numerous but can include
- Lifting heavy or bulky loads.
- Carrying loads awkwardly or worse still with one hand.
- Pushing, pulling, or dragging heavy loads.
- Awkwardly stretching, twisting, and reaching whilst carrying a heavy load.
- Bending, crouching, stooping or being in one position for a long time.
- Driving long distances or sitting in one position for long periods of time.
- Slippery, uneven floor or even poor lighting, whilst lifting, can result in injury.
How to manage the risks of Back Pain
- Assess the situation of moving heavy objects before you take on the task.
- Try to identify what activities cause you back pain, so you can mitigate any further risks.
- Plan how you can move heavy loads easier, for example by moving loads on wheels or with lifting aids.
- Watch out for symptoms of back pain amongst your workers and help them get the right help to avoid further pain or injury.
- If you have back pain which lasts more than 72 hours, or the pain spreads to other regions such as down the legs then it may be time to see your doctor for further diagnosis.
- Training – ensure those undertaking manual handling tasks are appropriately trained.
Finally, the next time you lift someone’s spirits, lift with your legs and not YOUR BACK!