Presentation W P12

W P12 (Poster Presentation):
French Good Practice Guidelines for the management of the low back pain risk among workers exposed to manual handling of loadsAudrey

Presented by: Audrey Petit Sr.


Petit A1, Mairiaux Ph2, Fassier JB3, Roquelaure Y1

  1. Laboratory of Ergonomics and Epidemiology in Occupational health, LEEST-UA InVS - IFR 132- UPRES EA 4336, University of Angers, Faculty of Medicine
  2. Occupational Health and Health Education unit, Department of Public Health, University of Liège, Sart Tilman (B23), 4000 Liege, BELGIQUE
  3. Occupatioanl Health unit, Hospital of Lyon Sud, France



Manual handling of loads (MHL) is a widespread practice in the workplace and is the leading cause of work accidents. In particular, MHL is associated with a risk of low back injuries which can compromise staying at work and worker's career in the case of recurrence or chronicity. This communication aims to set forth the French occupational Guidelines for the management of the low back pain (LBP) risk among workers exposed to MHL, published in October 2013.


These Good Practice Guidelines were written according to the Clinical Practice Guidelines method proposed by the French National Authority for Health. They emanated from a synthesis of the literature by a multidisciplinary working party of 24 experts and were peer reviewed by a committee of 50 experts. These Guidelines are designed to define the components of an appropriate surveillance program for all workers exposed to MHL activities at the workplace and especially suffering from LBP and still at work, or suffering LBP and on sick leave.


Because of the potential impact on workers’ fears and beliefs, the information provided by the various actors must be consistent, or even reassuring in relation to the prognosis of LBP. Among LBP workers, it is recommended to look for signs of severity or an underlying disease at the acute, subacute and chronic stages of LBP; to encourage continuation or resumption of physical activity; situate the current episode of LBP in the worker’s work history (recent changes of working conditions) and evaluate the impact of LBP on the worker’s job. In the case of persistent or recurrent LBP, it is recommended to evaluate biopsychosocial and socioeconomic risk factors likely to influence chronicity, prolonged incapacity and delay return to work. If workers are on prolonged and/or repeated sick leave for LBP, a pre-return-to-work visit is recommended to evaluate the pain and functional disability and their repercussions, as well as the main factors of prolonged work incapacity; encourage and help the worker to develop a return to work dynamic; identify the main difficulties related to work and possible job adjustments and evaluate the need to initiate a job staying at work approach.


Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention are necessary for the management of low back pain at work.

Schedule Details

Wednesday October 1
13:00 - 14:00 Poster Viewing
Session: Policy / theory