Using the data of the EuroBack Unit prospective cohort study, this paper investigated the role of work-related physical factors and psychological variables in predicting the development of and recovery from short-term and long-term LBP. At baseline, 1294 predominantly male industrial workers from 10 companies in Belgium and the Netherlands filled in questionnaires. At follow-up, data from 812 employees were available. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using simple and multiple logistic regression analyses. For those workers reporting 0 days LBP in the year prior to baseline, negative affectivity (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01–1.11) was a risk factor for the development of short-term LBP (=1–30 days total of LBP in the year prior to follow-up). For those who reported 1–30 days total of LBP in the year prior to baseline, only high fear of (re)injury due to movement (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.02–1.12) increased the risk for failure to recovery from short-term LBP. For the development of long-term LBP (=more than 30 days total of LBP in the year prior to follow-up), a significant increased risk was observed among workers with high pain severity (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.01–1.40) and with pain referred to the ankles or feet (OR 2.92, 95% CI 1.09–7.83). The risk was reduced by social support of co-workers (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.59–0.92) and by manual handling of materials (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.46–0.85). For those who reported more than 30 days total of LBP in the year prior to baseline, high pain severity (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04–1.34) increased the risk for failure to recovery from long-term LBP. Results are compared to the baseline study (Gheldof et al., 2005) and discussed in relation with prospective studies.