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Watch Your Back

Back belts don't help with heavy lifting

If your job involves a lot of lifting, you probably use -- or have considered using -- a back belt.

But it might not be doing you any good. The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety concluded there's no scientific basis to the claim that the belts protect the back.

Rather than relying on back belts, companies should begin to "implement a comprehensive ergonomics program that strives to protect all workers," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The CDC adds that back injuries account for almost 20 percent of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace, and cost an estimated $20 billion to $50 billion a year.

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