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Ergonomics & Aging
Should You Use A Back Belt?
In the past, use of back belts, otherwise known as back supports or abdominal belts, were recommended in industrial settings for the following reasons:
Research has not shown that any of these claims are true, with the exception that some back belts may restrict twisting while lifting, which is not recommended anyway. For workers who do not have back problems, wearing back belts may offer a false sense of security. Therefore, individuals wearing a back belt are more likely to lift more than they would without the belt, which increases their risk for injury.
Many trade organizations, The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, Department of Defense, and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety do not recommend the use of back belts, do not dispense them, and disclaim responsibility for injury to those who use them. If an injured worker obtains a back belt from a physician, it is the responsibility of the physician to fit the belt and instruct the worker on proper use.REFERENCES:
Back Belts: Do They Prevent Injury?, National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, 6/10/97.http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/94-127/
OSH Answers: Ergonomics, Back Belts. 1997-2005, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety.http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/back_blt.html
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