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07 January 2004

New guide to help safety reps prevent back pain and RSI
Back pain, repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and other musculoskeletal disorders are among the most commonly reported work-related injuries, affecting over a million workers. But many of these injuries can be prevented by taking measures to alter the task or work environment.

The Labour Research Department's latest booklet, Pain at work - an LRD guide to musculoskeletal disorders, examines the extent of injuries at work and looks at research findings into the causes and consequences of back pain and RSI and shows which groups of workers are particularly affected. It also clearly explains the legal duties that employers have in relation to manual handling, display screen equipment and risk assessments.

RSI Awareness Week takes place in February and is the first time a whole week of action has been devoted to the issue. Pain at work will help safety reps prepare for the week by providing all the latest information they need to take effective action on the prevention of RSI at work.

Pain at work summarises guidance from the Health and Safety Executive, trade unions and other health and safety organisations on how to prevent musculoskeletal problems at work by ensuring that the employer assesses the risks of injury and makes changes to the work environment where necessary. It also highlights examples of successful action by safety reps to tackle injuries at work.

The booklet also contains information on rehabilitation and treatment for those affected by musculoskeletal disorders, including case studies of successful rehabilitation programmes.

Notes to editors
1. Pain at work - an LRD guide to musculoskeletal disorders is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?4.50 or ?10.95 for employers or commercial organisations. LRD booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?30.95 (?76.95 for employers/ commercial organisations). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets each year.

2. The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 90 years ago. Around 1,800 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.

3. For press enquiries on this booklet contact Paul Hampton on 020 7902 9826. To order copies of the booklet telephone 020 7928 3649.

4. Full information about all of LRD's services and publications is available on the LRD website at www.lrd.org.uk.

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