Blog Post #645 – Back Injuries in Nova Scotia

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

The Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (WCB) and the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education are teaming up on a new social marketing campaign to help prevent back injuries at work.

In 2011, more than 2,000 workers in the province suffered a serious back injury resulting in time lost from work and reduced quality of life. Back injuries accounted for 30 % of all lost-time injuries, says a WCB statement.

The campaign recruits “back protection agents” and print advertisements share real-life stories profiling workplaces where changes have been made to protect backs from work-related injury.

“Overall, workplace injuries are down in Nova Scotia, but there is still a lot of work to do to make them a thing of the past,” Stuart McLean, CEO of the WCB says in a statement. “With back injuries representing such a large percentage of workplace injuries, tackling them directly will help us build on our progress and bring us closer to establishing a true culture of safety in Nova Scotia,” he adds.

The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador has recently launched a similar campaign.

My opinion

Back injuries are hard to detect and, in some cases, take forever to fix. Some back injuries never heal and some workers are bed ridden for most of their life because of the injury.

The study of Ergonomics attempts to fit the job to the worker and attempts to ensure that all ergonomic hazards directly, and possibly, indirectly, have been recognized and proper hazard controls put in place.

I used to work for a large organization that used AGVs. (Automated Guided Vehicles) The central computer could raise or lower the unit to fit the operator which could quite possibly take a lot of stress off the lower back. Could you picture a work table set up the same for someone six foot six inches tall as well as one only 5 foot tall? One of the workers may have to lean over in an uncomfortable position while the other may have to over-reach to do the job. Both could be subject to back injuries.

Many back injuries occur in and around the office. Please ensure that an ‘Ergonomist’ has been consulted before setting up offices and work-stations.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Ergonomic Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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