Back in Work pilots awarded £50,000 funding

Department of Health and HSE back pain initiative distributes up to £50,000
among 19 workplace projects

A £700,000 scheme, organised by the Department of Health and the Health and
Safety Executive will tackle the workplace back pain issue.

About £50,000 has been awarded to 19 pilot projects in the Back in Work
initiative.

Public Health Minister Yvette Cooper said the results from the pilots will
be used to develop good practice in businesses across the country.

"More than 11 million working days are lost each year due to back pain,
and this condition costs industry £5bn," she said.

"Through the Back in Work projects, businesses and organisations will
raise awareness and encourage people to take preventative action, as well as
providing early access to assessment, treatment and rehabilitation."

One of the highest award winners among the pilot schemes, the Royal College
of Nursing, has been allocated £50,000 for a back-injury prevention project.

RCN occupational health adviser Carol Bannister said, "We are
delighted. It is going to help us focus on what is a real problem in nursing homes.
Small businesses are struggling to manage the risks they already have."

Courtaulds Textiles, which operates in 16 countries, was awarded £25,000.
Group safety adviser and ex-factory inspector Huw Jones said the firm would not
have been able to help spread good practice to small- and medium-sized
companies without the funding.

"Back injuries are the highest cause of serious injury in the textile
industry," he said.

"There are still many companies which have not been able to afford the
necessary assistance, such as ergonomic and handling consultants, engineering
solutions and OH services."

The Healthy Workplace Initiative, launched to carry out the work of White
Paper Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation is at www.ohn.gov.uk/ohn/ohn.htm

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