The following stories appear in full on today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.
In the largest study of its kind ever conducted, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís (CDC)ís National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found no evidence that back belts reduce back injury or back pain for retail workers who lift or move merchandise, according to results published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) December 6, 2000 issue.
For more information: No Evidence That Back Belts Reduce Injury
The decision to wear a back belt is a personal choice; however, NIOSH believes that workers and employers should have the best available information to make that decision. This pamphlet outlines the current state of scientific knowledge on back belts and stresses the importance of an overall ergonomics program. Companies should not rely on back belts as a "cure all" for back injury, but should begin to undertake prevention measures which reduce the risks of lifting tasks.
For more information: Back Belts: Do They Prevent Injury?
Over 40 recent articles provided evidence regarding the relationship between low-back disorder and the five physical workplace factors that were considered in this review. These included heavy physical work, lifting and forceful movements, bending and twisting (awkward postures), whole-body vibration, and static work postures. Many of the studies addressed multiple work-related factors. All articles that
addressed a particular workplace factor contributed to the information used to draw conclusions about that risk factor, regardless of whether results were positive or negative.
For more information: Low-Back Musculoskeletal Disorders: Evidence For Work-Relatedness
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