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08 October 1999

Watch your back - LRD's guide to preventing back pain and injury at work
Work-related back injury is a major health and safety concern for trade unionists. More than a third of all reported industrial accidents each year are manual handling injuries and of these back injury is the most common problem.

Occupational back pain is the leading cause of sickness absence from work. It costs industry around ?5 billion annually in lost production alone, consumes ?48 million of NHS expenditure each year and causes untold distress to the individuals who suffer it.

Watch your back - LRD's guide to preventing back pain and injury at work is being published today by the Labour Research Department (LRD) to coincide with the start of a month-long campaign by the TUC and BackCare - the national organisation for healthy backs - around the problem of back injuries in the workplace.

Watch you back aims to arm trade union and safety reps with the information they need to ensure that everything possible is being done in their workplace to eliminate or minimise the risk of back injury from occurring.

It covers the extent and cost of occupational back injury, explains the law covering manual handling and employers' legal duties, including in relation to risk assessments, provides advice and guidance on preventing back injury and describes the benefits of rehabilitation and treatment. Advice from trade unionists and specialist agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive is included throughout the booklet along with examples of good practice from specific workplaces.

Notes to editors

Watch your back - LRD's guide to preventing back pain and injury at work is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?3.00 or ?10 for non-labour movement bodies.
LRD Booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?25.75 (?65.90 for non-labour movement bodies). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets a year.
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded over 80 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 54 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For press enquiries on the booklet contact Andrea Oates, LRD health and safety researcher on 020 7902 9826. For general enquiries contact Celia Dignan, LRD booklets editor, on 020 7902 9813.
 

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