Home > Back Pain & Work > Back Pain: Information for Employees

Back Pain: Information for Employees

By: Suzanne Elvidge BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 |
 
Back Pain: Information For Employees

People spend many hours every week at work, and what they do there, whether it is handling goods, using heavy equipment, or working at a computer all day, can have a major impact on the health their backs. Employers have a responsibility to look after their employees, but employees also have responsibilities to look after themselves too.

What Will Your Employer Do?

Employers have to carry out risk assessments of jobs and workplaces. Following these assessments, they have to make what are known as ‘reasonable’ changes to reduce the risk of injury and back pain for their employees (see ‘Back Pain: Information for Employers’).

What Can You Do?

There are a number of things that employees can do to help any existing back pain and to prevent injuries leading to new cases of back pain.

Employees should carefully follow any guidance and use any equipment provided by their management – doing this will help reduce existing back pain or prevent new back pain, and also help avoid any accidents. It will also help avoid putting any other employees at risk.

Manual Handling

For people involved in manual handling, it’s important to learn how to lift correctly, and to learn how to use manual handling equipment properly.

Working at a Desk

Employees should learn how to make adjustments to their desks, chairs and any other equipment that will help the most with their comfort and posture (see ‘Setting Up Your Desk and Chair to Prevent Back Pain’). For people working at a desk, this could include adjusting the chair seat height and depth, the angle and height of the chair backrest, and the height of the chair arms (or removing them completely); using a footrest; and altering the height of the desk if possible.

Computer Users

For computer users, the mouse and keyboard should be in easy reach and the screen should be at eye level – this avoids having to twist too much. Laptops should be plugged into a desktop keyboard and monitor if possible.

Take a Break

Employees should try to break up the day (or shift) by working on different things that use different parts of the body where possible – this avoids putting too much strain on any one area. Employees should try to get up and move around every so often – at least every hour – to stretch the back and legs and rest the eyes. Breaks can also reduce stress, which can also cause or worsen back pain.

Exercise

If the organisation provides access to a gym, or to exercise or fitness classes, it is a good idea to take advantage, as the correct exercises can help prevent or treat back pain.

Report it

It is important for employees to report any back pain to management and to a safety representative if there is one available, and to talk to a GP. It’s also worthwhile suggesting any changes to the working environment that could help people with existing back pain or prevent the development of new back pain. An occupation health expert may be able to help with any back pain.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Cscs88
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    When I was 14 I was sent to the emergency room with an illness the doctors couldn't identify. Extremely high fever and high…
    25 March 2020
  • Bill
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    I've had spinal meningitis 7 times now. So much scar tissue they have to do x ray with the lumbar puncture. I am having a lot…
    17 February 2020
  • Mike
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    Hello I had spinal tap done bout 8 month ago due to a brain aneurysm. I tell you someday they way my back is make me not…
    3 February 2020
  • LaLA
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    So about 7 or 8 months ago I got a spiral tap preformed due to have being diagnosed with Idiopathic intracranial…
    18 January 2020
  • LaLA
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    So about 7 or 8 months ago I got a spiral tap preformed due to have being diagnosed with Idiopathic intracranial…
    18 January 2020
  • rAY
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    hI THERE, I have Dyhydration L3/l4 and ll4/l5 and disprotrusion and sequestrated discu after MRI i am aged 52. I had hip pain all night for 3…
    3 April 2019
  • UKez
    Re: A Spinal Tap Caused My Back Pain
    Hi . I also had a spinal Tap to check the stages of a bleeiding in my brain. This has caused me serious back pain almost…
    3 July 2018
  • BackPainExpert
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    Alex - Your Question:I am a 27 yr old male who up until last year was working 84-108 hrs/week and always had back problems but all the doctors I…
    23 May 2018
  • Alex
    Re: Dehydrated Discs
    I am a 27 yr old male who up until last year was working 84-108 hrs/week and always had back problems but all the doctors i had seen told me its…
    16 May 2018
  • Salsybar
    Re: Stem Cell Repair and Back Problems
    Hi I have annulus bulges at c4 -c5- c6 I have disc dessication,bulges , minmally prominent of the spinal cord t6-t7 t7-t8…
    9 May 2018