Two hundred postal workers in Guildford, near London, are currently swallowing miniature radio transmitters--in the interests of science Doctors at the Surrey University are trying to find out what jobs cause backache and why, in a project which is backed by the European Coal Mining and Steel Industry Commission.
GV & SV University of Surrey with sign. (2 shots)
CU & SV Technicians measuring and weighing subject. (2 shots)
CU another technician takes pill from oven and gives it to subject. (2 shots)
CU subject swallowing pill. (2 shots)
CU PAN FROM Monitoring apparatus TO amplifier around stomach.
CU PAN weights being put on to rope prior to subject lifting.
CU PAN technician operating measuring instrument PAN TO needle moving.
SV subject releases weights.
CU more weights added.
CU monitoring equipment during second lift.
SV subject releases weights at end of experiments.
CU Doctor Stubbs speaking to reporter over shots of radio pill being assembled. (4 shots)
REPORTER: "How do you see your project helping."
STUBBS: "Well, two ways, firstly by looking at populations and what they handle safely. One can take this information into the field where they work and into industry, measure the sorts of forces they have to apply in their everyday work and see if those forces are within our safe limits. So that's the first way. The second way, which I think is equally important, is that future work systems will be designed to eliminate problems before they arise.
REPORTER: "Have you heard of any other projects involving the transmitter that you're using here."
STUBBS: "Certainly our use with the radio pressure pill is a very unique one. Other sorts of pills are used in hospital treatment, but on the industrial front we are the only group working with it in industry."
REPORTER: DENISE ERIKSEN
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Two hundred postal workers in Guildford, near London, are currently swallowing miniature radio transmitters--in the interests of science Doctors at the Surrey University are trying to find out what jobs cause backache and why, in a project which is backed by the European Coal Mining and Steel Industry Commission.
SYNOPSIS: The team at the university has been working on the project for several years. They put the volunteers through a series of str???nuous exercises, tailored to their weight and height. This man has already suffered from back problem after working in the field for the post office for 23 years.
The technicians keep the tiny transmitters in an oven at body temperature before they're given to the volunteers. The radio pills, as they're known, were developed by a British firm and cost about 55 pounds sterling (100 US dollars) each.
Perhaps surprisingly, most of the volunteers have little trouble swallowing the transmitter, which, after about 10 minutes, will send out signals indicating the amount of stress being applied to the back.
An amplifier is wrapped around the volunteer's stomach. This is linked to a recording machine which gives a print out of the stress readings.
Exercises involving the lifting of weights in several different positions have been devised to show which movement creates the most stress. The team hopes that its findings will go a long way to preventing backache, which is currently costing British industry alone more than a million pounds sterling a day in last production and sick pay. One of the team is Dr David Stubbs. He talked to Visnews reporter Denise Eiksen