Back Belts – Should I wear a back belt at work?

A common question asked by employees that lift, push, pull or carry materials.  Is there enough scientific evidence to support back belts at the workplace?

A back belt is a device that some people believe when used, stabilizes the spine, supports the spine and reduces loads during lifting. Back belts are usually known as weight lifting belts or back supports. There are many types of athletic or industrial back belts.

Studies have not shown that wearing back belts prevents back injuries. There is insufficient evidence that they actually deliver what is promised. There is some evidence that workers believe they can lift more when wearing a back belt. This may give workers a false sense of security, and increase the risk of injury. Back belts may also strain the cardio-vascular system. Long term use of belts may cause stomach muscles to lose strength, which may increase the risk of injury. Some organizations, for example Home Depot has changed its position on long term use of back belts for employees while at the workplace.

There is no proof that back belts alone reduce back injuries. A comprehensive ergonomic program is an effective way of identifying the hazards, assessing them or eliminating or minimizing the risks by changing equipment, tools, workplace layout or work organization.

For a free consultation, call Auspice Safety Inc. at 613.558.5385 or

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