Be back care aware
This week it’s back care awareness week. And this year the focus in perhaps not on the usual areas (carrying in factories, moving goods in warehouses, or lifting in hospitals) it’s on those who are home working.
You can read more about WHY that is the focus area from Backcare here https://backcare.org.uk/event/2021-back-care-awareness-week/
Kedleston Safety we wanted to use this week to highlight the importance of back care in every workplace setting.
It’s ESSENTIAL that you protect your employees from developing back pain because of their workplace activities. Whatever those activities are.
The safety aspect
If you have an activity where you know that a person’s back COULD be injured or result in pain, then it’s important to put mitigation of the risks in place.
That might mean lifting equipment in a care home for every patient. Perhaps it’s robotics in a factory for packing pallets. Or maybe it’s the use of equipment in a warehouse to help move goods around. It could be high quality back support chairs for teachers or office workers; those who are sitting all day. That’s investment stuff that needs to be considered for your organisation. If you have a high level of absence because of back injury this investment could quite quickly give you pay back (in more ways that ROI because the human cost MUST be a consideration too).
“There’s things you can do to change the way activities are undertaken; for example if a repetitive task means pushing and pulling all day long for a team member can you alternate their activities in their shift?” outlines Suzanne.
Prevention is key
It’s important that you keep a log of all incidents, accidents AND near misses that result in back pain even if someone is still at work. That way you can detect patterns and make any essential changes to prevent any back injuries occurring. Many people will recover from back injuries, but prevention is better than cure.
You could consider giving your team support over and above the ‘legal’ stuff like a posture workshop or even provide posture aids to people who are working from home OR in the usual workplace.
Afterall back pain costs the NHS over £1billion a year and many lower back pain can be mitigated with the considerations outlined in our article.
Consult the resources
Here’s some resources to help your workers, hopefully these cover a range of settings but if you need something specific for your workplace get in touch with us.
Manual handling: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg143.htm
Pushing and pulling risk assessment: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg478.htm
DSE assessments: https://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse/assessment.htm
Social care moving and handling: https://www.hse.gov.uk/healthservices/moving-handling-equipment.htm
Home working: https://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse/home-working.htm