Awards share back to work initiatives

NHS OH teams around the country have been recognised in the latest round of a national competition to encourage the NHS to reduce workplace injuries.

The Back in Work awards have been organised by the Department of Health since 2002, in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive.
This year, for the first time, they were run by NHS Employers, the body set up last November to promote OH and other HR issues within the NHS.
The organisation has estimated that injuries from manual handling accidents account for 40% of all sickness absence in the NHS, and cost the service some 400m each year.

The overall prize went to Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust for work to reduce musculo-skeletal injuries among its staff.

All employees at the trust are trained during induction in moving and handling, all accidents and incidents are risk assessed and back care advisory team members promote return-to-work programmes.

Judy Green, back care advisory team manager at the trust, said the award encouraged trusts to share good practice “so that they don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel”.

Other winners were East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Causeway Health and Social Services Trust in Northern Ireland, East Sussex County Healthcare NHS Trust and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

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