Back Care Awareness Week – helping to take the pain out of working!
October 03 2021
Back pain is a major health concern in the workplace – a problem which has worsened over the course of the pandemic as more people have had to work or study from home, often in conditions that are less than ideal for posture.
Employers have an obligation to their staff to ensure they are working in the right conditions and while that is easier to provide in the working environment, it may not be quite so clear cut with regards to those employees who continue to work remotely.
Huge cost to the economy
Back Care Awareness Week runs from October 4th to the 8th and is a great opportunity for firms to review their working practices and ensure they are doing everything possible to keep their staff healthy.
The week is organised by the BackCare charity which has been raising awareness of back health issues for 53 years with the aim of significantly reducing the burden of back and neck pain through advice, information and guidance.
Sickness absence caused by musculoskeletal disorders is costing the economy an estimated £15bn every year – one of the biggest causes of time taken off work and something affecting more than 80% of the population. Back problems can be caused by a range of factors, including:
- Lifting and carrying
- Manual handling in difficult or awkward situations
- Pulling and pushing heavy loads
- Working for long periods on Display Screen Equipment
- Repetitive work such as on a production line
- Being stuck in the same working position for long periods
- Driving long distances
It’s important for employers to be constantly aware and proactive in preventing back health problems before they occur. This can be done by:
- Engagement with staff
- Assessing risks in the workplace and for those employees working remotely
- Taking steps to address any issues that arise
- Continually monitoring and reviewing policies
- Actively promoting regular breaks for those using DSE
It’s also vital that employees play their part in ensuring they are taking the right steps to prevent potential health issues. Raising awareness of the problems that can arise just might reduce the number of working days lost to sickness each year and help to maintain a happy and healthy workforce.