Of all types of occupational trauma, back injuries represent one of the largest groups. Saraste (1993), in a study of Swedish male workers with back ailments, and Stubbs (1986) in a report of a study of the nursing profession in England, both suggested that 80% of workers experienced lower back ailments during their working life. In 1987 back injuries accounted for 27% of all lost time compensation claims in Ontario Canada (WCB (1988)), and a similar proportion of back injuries was reported more recently by Workcover New South Wales (1996), who reported back injuries to be 30% of all New South Wales workplace injuries in the period 1993 to1995 inclusive. Statistics published by the Victorian Health and Safety Organisation showed that 25.0% of all workers compensation claims lodged for the period July 1992 to June 1994, across all industries in Victoria, recorded back injuries as the most serious suffered by the claimants (Health and Safety Organisation (1995)). Furthermore, NIOSH (19941 ) reported that back injuries accounted for 20% of all injuries and illnesses in USA workplaces, costing in excess of 20 billion dollars per year.