Reduce Worker Comp Cases – Be Nice

Feb 21, 2003

By George Anderson

Researchers report in the February issue of The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), “people who are unhappy at work and are forced to work under intense and hectic conditions are more likely to feel back pain than others.”

Dr. Janet Johnston of the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and colleagues conducted interviews with more than 6,300 employees of 160 stores involved in material handling.

She told Reuters, “People who feel as if they don’t have control over their work environment or who feel unhappy with their work may feel more stress. This stress, in turn, could increase tension in their bodies and cause them to carry themselves in a way that increases their risk of injury.”

Dr. Johnston acknowledged “Creating a calmer, more relaxed environment for employees may cost money or sacrifice productivity.” On the other hand, she noted, “Treating back pain is an extremely expensive venture, and companies shell out mega-bucks for health insurance and workers’ compensation.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are the implications of this
research for companies involved in material handling?
Anderson – Moderator


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