Ways to prevent back injuries at work are highlighted in a new
awareness-raising campaign from the Health and Safety
It is estimated that 4.9 million days a year are lost through
work-related back conditions, with each affected employee taking an
average of 19 days off work. This is estimated to cost the economy
£5bn a year.
Domiciliary and care home staff are often affected by the problem
because of the manual handling they do, says Richard Jones,
director of technical affairs at the Institution of Occupational
“The NHS has introduced a number of manual handling aids to help
nurses, but the care community doesn’t have the resources to do
that. If you are trying to lift someone on your own who may be
resisting you can’t assume a good lifting position,” he adds.
And with social workers spending increased amounts of time sitting
at desks using computers Jones warns they too must be aware of back
- For more about the HSE Better Backs campaign see