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February 1, 2008

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Research says preventative training has no effect on back pain

The British Medical Journal has recently published research that questions the effectiveness of training in the prevention of back pain in the workplace.

Ridiculed in TV comedies like The Office, many employers are obliged to ensure that workers receive proper training in lifting loads correctly. However, the ‘Effect of training and lifting equipment for preventing back pain in lifting and handling: systematic review’ has found that training to prevent back pain is, in most cases, ineffective.

The review looked at the available studies of those working in jobs where there was strain on the back, and where there was potential for alleviating strain through an intervention, such as training.

The researchers found no difference in back pain in studies where one group received training and the other didn’t. Training compared to minor advice (a video) showed no effect on back pain after a year.

Another trial showed no significant difference in back pain between one group who received training and another who were given back belts to wear.

The researchers concluded: “There is no evidence that advice on lifting and handling with or without lifting equipment prevents back pain or consequent disability. The findings challenge current widespread practice of advising workers on correct lifting technique.”

To read more from the report, click on the link below.

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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