NEWS BRIEFS

Education Helps Back Pain Patients

Health care providers can implement intensive, individual educational sessions to help patients with short-term lower back pain return to work more quickly, new research suggests.

Researchers in the Netherlands conducted a systematic review by analyzing 24 studies of adults who experienced both short-term and chronic lower back pain. The analysis revealed that patients who experienced short-term lower back pain, and who received 2.5 hours of individual patient education sessions with a health care provider, were able to return to work faster than if they had received no education.

ASSE Protests NYC Permit Law

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) joined the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) in voicing concerns about a proposed law in New York City requiring permits for atmospheric biological, chemical and radiological detectors.

In the letter sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ASSE Chapter President Stephanie Altis-Gurnari stated that the legislation could have a negative impact on the practices of safety, health and environmental professionals because it allows the New York Police Department to authorize, deny or delay any workplace or environmental sampling.

Poultry Investigation Prompts Hearings

A six-part series in The Charlotte Observer revealed workplace health and safety problems in poultry plants, prompting Senate and House committees to schedule hearings on worker safety in the poultry industry.

The series, β€œThe Cruelest Cuts: The Human Cost of Bringing Poultry to Your Table,” maintains that Raeford, N.C.-based House of Raeford Farms, one of the Carolinas' largest poultry producer, covered up the extent of on-the-job injuries, dismissed workers' requests to see doctors, pressured employees to return to work hours after being treated for injuries, found ways to fire injured employees and neglected recordkeeping requirements.

The series has prompted responses from Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, an official with the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission and others.

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