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News

Better Backs for the waste and recycling industry

HSE InfoLine : 13 June, 2005  (Company News)
The Health and Safety Executive is appealing to waste management and recycling industries to visit its 'Better Backs' micro site at www.betterbacks.hse.gov.uk or call 0845 345 0055, both of which offer practical tips on how to avoid back-related injuries in the workplace.
The Health and Safety Executive is appealing to waste management and recycling industries to visit its 'Better Backs' micro site at www.betterbacks.hse.gov.uk or call 0845 345 0055, both of which offer practical tips on how to avoid back-related injuries in the workplace.

Back pain caused by manual handling particularly affects the waste management and recycling industries because of the type of work carried out. Back injuries accounted for 23% of all injuries sustained in the waste and recycling industry in 2002/03, but by promoting the use of lifting and handling aids through the 'Better Backs' campaign, HSE hopes to reduce the incidence of injuries of this nature.

Supporting the campaign, HSE's manufacturing sector is publishing conveyor belt sorting guidance on its website at www.hse.gov.uk/waste/conveyorbelt.pdf. Ergonomic Considerations for Designing and Selecting Conveyor Belt Systems advises on the design of conveyor belt workstations to prevent the risk of musculoskeletal injury by avoiding the need for seated or standing operators to stoop excessively, twist, or over-reach whilst working. Although written for all industries, it has particular relevance to sorting activities at materials recycling facilities.

In addition HSE's Waste Management and Recycling team will be on hand at stand 102 at this week's Chartered Institute of Wastes Management annual conference and exhibition at Paignton in Devon. Visitors to the stand can find further information on reducing back injuries, including the key considerations in protecting your back at work:

Assessing the risks;
Choosing the right equipment;
Designing the job properly;
Good handling techniques; and
Helping employees suffering back injuries return to a full and active life.
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