Trade unions have joined with small businesses to campaign
for better back treatment.
The TUC, the Forum of Private Business and pressure group
BackCare announced a campaign to promote better care, backed by a helpline for
Small companies lose around 1.2 million working days, and
over £100m a year, because of back strain, the organisers said.
The forum has begun a face-to-face survey of 1,500 small
firm members to identify the extent of the problem. In the autumn it will join
with the TUC in distributing educational material to 100,000 small companies.
"Small business owners realise that their most important asset is
their employees," said Stan
Mendham, executive chairman of the Forum. "Back pain is a major cause of
The organisations are seeking expert assistance for the
helpline. Recent thinking on back problems recognises the importance of early
intervention and rehabilitation, and the earliest return to work possible
(Occupational Health, May).