Prevention of Low Back Pain - A Challenge

CIM Bulletin, 1973

C. DROUIN, Director, Safety and Technical Services, Quebec Metal Mining Association Inc., Quebec, Que

Low back pains account for about 13 per cent of all compensation claims made to the Quebec Workmen's Compensation Commission and cost the employers a sum exceeding ten million dollars. The frequency and cost of these health problems in Quebec metal mines are proportional to the provincial trends. An elaborate review of the literature on the causes, nature and prevention of low back pain is made in this presentation. . A prevention program for low back pain has been designed in cooperation with a team of seven medical specialists and two physiotherapists for the Quebec metal mines. The program is especially designed for persons who have had low back pain, in order to prevent a recurrence, and for persons beginning to feel chronic difficulties. It is based on existing programs at the Hawthorne Plant of Western Electric Company and at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, but it requires a much different approach because of the nature of medical care available at the mining sites. The program is difficult because it involves a change of attitude for every employee and every supervisor. The program, so far, is beneficial because several men are now seriously engaged in an active program of reconditioning and because the problem of low back pain ie beginning to be seen from a new angle.
Keywords: Accidents, Cost, Costs, General Electric, low back pain, physical fitness, physiotherapists, Quebec City, industrial, Mines, mining, Prevention, Quebec, Safety