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Backcare week and European Health and Safety Week

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At an annual cost of £3.8 billion to the British economy and with 16 million sufferers in the UK, back strain is an industrial injury businesses. To highlight the growing problem, next week in European Week for Safety and Health (16 – 22 October), the TUC, BackCare and the Forum of Private Business are launching a back pain report and a special back phone line.

For five days only from 9am on Monday 16 October, callers to the Healthy backs work better line 0800 032 0044, can get advice on how to avoid, prevent and treat back pain. Aimed at bosses and workers alike, the line – which is open until 9pm each day – can also give callers access to a range of experts including ergonomists, solicitors and chiropractors.

On Monday 16 October, the same day the phone line launches, the three organisations are also publishing a dossier showing the extent of back pain problems for small businesses in the UK. Based on face-to-face surveys of 1500 FPB members, the report looks at the number of days lost as a result of work-related back strain, the industrial sectors with the most back casualties, and the regions topping the back pain league. The joint report will also make a number of recommendations on how the back pain epidemic might successfully be tackled.

TUC General Secretary John Monks said, "Sadly back pain is an all too common problem for British workers. In the worst cases it can permanently remove employees from the labour market. But back pain is not an insoluble problem.

By working together businesses and unions can make a real difference."

Good posture at work is very important – take a look at why posture is so key and how you can improve it.

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