Stretch Film - Back Pain Health & Safety
NHS Choices state: "Back pain is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life. It usually feels like an ache, tension or stiffness in your back. The pain can be triggered by bad posture while sitting or standing, bending awkwardly, or lifting incorrectly..."
Note the last five words and consider what activity many workers do on a daily basis that involve not only these two activities but combines them with walking backwards - in spirals. The daily activity that includes all these risks - and more, is commonplace in industry and involves the manual application of stretch wrap film
to pallets. See a good video that graphically illustrates the issues Click the link Back Pain Guaranteed
If in employment and working in the packaging and despatch dept avoid being delegated to manually apply stretchfilm to pallets as this commonplace activity more or less guarantees that sooner or later you will end up with back pain Think about it - pallet after pallet - you walk backwards in spirals around the pallets in a stooped position, crouched over a roll of stretch film, leaning backwards to apply sufficient pressure to stretch the film to enable it secure product to pallet, finishing off by holding the roll of film above shoulder level to apply top pallet protection and so increasing risk of injury to shoulders as well as back. The muscuskeletal configuration of a human is simply unsuited to this type of operation and risk assessment procedures and recommendations cannot produce documentation that would justify reducing this activity from the current high risk category...
The trouble however is that it's your back at risk, no-one else's... they just walk by and leave it to you. Back injury is guaranteed, sooner or later, perhaps coupled with trip injuries caused by a degree of dizziness following the completion of the operation.
Odd really that health risk inducing products such as alcohol and drugs are barred from the workplace for doing just this.
NHS Choices also state: "Back pain is not generally caused by a serious condition and, in most cases, it gets better within 12 weeks.
It can usually be successfully treated by taking painkillers and keeping mobile." Increasing awareness of these issues in the last two years is causing more Companies to revert to using plastic strapping to eliminate these risks, reduce costs and make the securing of product onto pallets easier and faster, using simple low cost strapping machines,
the best of which can be seen on www.pscl.co.
In the absence of any HSE guidance however, it is the responsibility of the individual to bring this to the attention of his H & S Dept.