Dolly Parton sang about working 9 to 5, asked “what a way to make a living” and asserted that it would drive you crazy if you let it. Many workers would look on a shift of only 9 to 5 as a luxury. ABC Radio in Brisbane played this song as an introduction to a series of radio interviews about workplace safety in which myself and Professor Niki Ellis participated on 9 May 2016.
Curiously the interview, part of their The Juggle series, occurs in the Drive time slot of 4pm to 6pm but the discussion was almost all about occupational health and safety (OHS) in the office environment. If 9 to 5 still exists anywhere, the audience for office safety information was busy. It would have been interesting to talk about OHS and work vehicles.
ABC has broken the show into two parts, one with me and one with Niki Ellis. The interviewer, Emma Griffiths, asked questions about OHS in offices, how OHS is often considered a nuisance, standing desks (of course), sedentary work, long work hours, and emerging risks. Her discussion with Niki Ellis addressed stress primarily due to Niki having focussed on this workplace hazard in the past. Niki also contextualised stress with organisational structures and practices, and the leadership levels of managers but points out that the level of action is not where one would expect for laws and obligations that have existed for decades.
Niki also provides a potted history of repetitive strain injury (RSI) in Australia. If there is not a book about how RSI is misinterpreted and mismanaged, there should be.
It is almost always good to participate in radio interviews about OHS because even old safety information is new to someone and radio reaches the broad community. Recently I have been interviewed on ABC radio in Brisbane and Western New South Wales, well away from my home base in Melbourne. It is good to have anyone talking about safety. We need more of it and more people doing it.