RSI is a pain in the…..

One example of the “correct” sitting posture ergonomics at a desk while working on a computer. (Not really correct)

Earlier this year Dr Peter Sharman published a blog article based on a literature review related to Upper Limb Pain and Computer Employment. The ergonomics of desk-based work seems to be dominated by guidance that requires right-angled postures, and other practices that are designed for prolonged use. For most of us, there is the flexibility to move around and break up the tasks but workplace, like call centres, continue; and the recent move to work from home has resurrected many of these workstation advisories. SafetyAtWorkBlog had the opportunity to ask Dr Sharman about his research and his experience supplemented by some clarifying answers by retired consultant in rheumatology and pain medicine, John Quintner.

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The health and safety of working from home

Idealised image of what Working From Home could look like.

The second of a series of articles based on support from academics at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) focusses on the occupational health and safety (OHS) issues related to Working From Home (WFH), a situation that many Australians face at the moment.

SafetyAtWorkBlog put some questions on WFH to ACU and Dr Trajce Cvetkovski, senior lecturer in the Peter Faber Business School and below are his thoughts.

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20:8:2, 40:20 or just move round regularly

Working From Home (WFH) has rarely been a hotter topic, even when it used to be called telework earlier this century. SafetyAtWorkBlog had the opportunity recently to ask some questions of experts put forward by the Australian Catholic University (ACU).

The first of our articles based on the ACU response discusses one of the most intriguing recommendations – a 20:8:2 ratio for low impact physical activity during desktop activity.

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Look closely at the camel rather than the straw

There are strong parallels between the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces and others addressing workplace issues, such as the Victorian Royal Commission into Mental and the Productivity Commission’s mental health inquiry, but there is also a connection to the Royal Commission into Banking and Financial Services which has focused the minds of some of Australia’s corporation s and leaders into examining their own workplace cultures and, for some, to reassess the role and application of capitalism.

This is going to become even more of a critical activity as the National Sexual Harassment Inquiry completes its report prior to its release in the first month or two of 2020.

Cultural analysis, and change, is often best undertaken first in a microcosm or specific social context. The experiences of sexual harassment of rural women in Australia is one such context, a context examined in detail by Dr Skye Saunders in her book “Whispers from the Bush“.

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Misunderstanding sleep – Part 1

On the corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets in Melbourne is a monument to the 8 Hour Day.  This represents a social structure of work that equates to

  • Eight hours of work,
  • Eight hours of recreation,
  • Eight hours of sleep,

The concept started in Australia in the mid-1800s and was intended to reduce exploitation and abuse of workers, many of whom were children.

The intent was to establish, what we would now call, a work/life balance structure with the recognition that work is required to earn a living, sleep is required to rejuvenate the body, preparing it for work, and recreation was social time, time with one’s family, exercise, all sorts of personal and social activities.

Today that structure is an “ideal” rather than a reality. 

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