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Decreased Rate of Back Injuries Through a Wellness Program for Offshore Petroleum Employees

Maniscalco, Peggie MS; Lane, Rebecca MS; Welke, Michelle MS; Mitchell, John H. MD; Husting, Lee PhD, MPH

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: September 1999 - Volume 41 - Issue 9 - pp 813-820
Original Articles

High rates of injury, particularly those for back injuries, at an offshore petroleum unit were addressed through an intensive wellness program initiated in 1991. The number of all types of injuries, including back injuries, decreased between 1991 and 1995. The number of back injuries decreased from nine in 1987 to four in 1992 and was zero in 1993. Although there are inadequate data to provide power for a significant result, other criteria suggest a causal relationship. The results are consistent with the few published studies that suggest a decrease in the number of injuries in association with exercise and perhaps with modification of psychosocial risk factors. Calculations suggest a cost savings of over $800,000 and a return on investment of $2.51, as well as avoidance of pain and injury.

From the Department of Health Services, BP Amoco Corporation, Warrenville, Ill.

Dr Mitchell was the corresponding author for this article until his retirement, at which time Dr Husting became the corresponding author.

Address correspondence to: Lee Husting, PhD, MPH, Risk Management, LAW, Inc., 112 Townpark Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.