Workers ignore back injury prevention

Tuesday, 10 October, 2006

A preventative injury expert says that workers often ignore the help that is offered to them when it comes to protecting their backs.

Risk management consultant at Preventative Injury Planning Strategies, Pippa Wright said as many as one in three workers is unwilling to protect against injuries caused over time by poor posture and lifting techniques.

Wright will address delegates at the upcoming Safety Conference on 19 October on positive steps employers and employees can take to safeguard their backs. "It's not rocket science, but things such as stretch and exercise. Many employers allow for this, but often employees don't participate unless pushed," she told Safety Solutions.

"We have piles of photos showing people who have become deformed after years of misusing their bodies, and when we explain how workers can avoid hurting themselves, about two-thirds are keen to change their habits," she said. "Of those, perhaps half actually stick to it."

From an employer perspective, Wright lists insufficient staffing and training time, facility design and inadequate equipment as impediments to reducing back and neck injuries.

Wendy Cramer, Safety Solutions Editor

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