Back pain costs UK business £5bn

Business loses 4.9 million working days a year because of back pain at the cost of £5bn to the economy, according to latest figures.

The 2003/4 Labour Force Survey shows that the average amount of time taken off in each case of back pain is 19 days.

Lord Hunt, work and pensions minister, said the effects of back injuries on businesses and individuals was almost incalculable.

“Everyone needs to take responsibility for tackling this issue, and by taking simple, sensible precautions in work and at home we can collectively work to reduce the misery of back pain,” he said.

The North East of England has the highest prevalence of back injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is launching its Better Backs campaign on 6 June. The campaign will offer concise, practical tips on how to avoid back-related injuries in the workplace to businesses and employees via a dedicated website.

For more, go to www.betterbacks.hse.gov.uk or call the helpline on 0845 345 0055.

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