Monthly Archives: July 2014

Ergonomics, Safety and Health on campus day

Graduate certificate and Masters of Ergonomics students recently participated in an on-campus day at La Trobe University. There were presentations from academics and ergonomic practitioners as well as practical workshops.

Students enrolled in OHC had the option of participating in a site visit where we were given a guided tour through the high end facilities of the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science. Following this students participated in an exercise where they analysed Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

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Students Peta, Chris, Mark and Tafi hard at work looking at MSDS

 

 

 

Award winning student

Congratulations Cameron!

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The Safety Institute of Australia together with the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board announced the winners of national OHS education awards at the recent Dr Eric Wigglesworth Memorial Lecture. Congratulations to Cameron Stevens who completed a Masters of Ergonomics, Safety and Health at Latrobe University and was awarded the National OHS Education Award at the Postgraduate level. Cameron received a study grant of $2000 together with membership of the SIA. The Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors also recieved a plaque of recognition.

Cameron is pictured with another award winner, Dr Christine Teague from Edith Cowan University, as well as Phil Lovelock of SIA.

Tessa Keegel

Tessa Keegel is a Lecturer at the Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors, La Trobe University.Tessa has qualifications in epidemiology and biostastics, as well as cultural theory. Most of her experience has been gained in universities or public health organisations. Tessa’s research interests are in the field of work and health. She is particularly interested in the ways an individual’s health and well-being are contextualized within workplaces, with respect to occupational exposures and disease. Tessa has a special interest in the ways that policy and legislation affect these interactions. She has conducted extensive research on the psychosocial work environment and other hazardous exposures including those leading to occupational contact dermatitis.

Tessa Keegel

Tessa Keegel

Rwth Stuckey

Rwth Stuckey has worked as an ergonomics and OHS consultant and occupational rehabilitation adviser for more than 35 years, in many industries across Australia and internationally. She has a particular interest in preventing injury and illness and promoting healthy workplaces and in particular improving work design and practice for postal, meat, gallery, health care, sugar and assembly workers and others in manufacturing and other practical environments. She is a Senior Lecturer at Latrobe and Monash Universities.

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Victoria Weale

Victoria is an occupational psychologist who has been working in human factors in both the UK and Australia for over 20 years, using her knowledge of how people behave to try to make work safer. Her previous research projects have been diverse and have included investigating the public’s perception and use of commonly used insecticides, psychological factors as determinants of time for egress in emergency evacuations from railway coaches and train driver behaviour in coal mines. She joined the Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors in March 2009 and teaches at both postgraduate and undergraduate level. Victoria is currently working on her PhD.

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Research: Risk Management Toolkit

Research at the Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors

A central focus of the research program at the Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors is focused on prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. In particular the need for a more comprehensive approach to manage this complex set of problems which encompasses identification and development of appropriate controls to address physical and psychosocial hazards and risks in the work place.

Our current work in this area is focused on the development of a Risk Management Toolkit to assist organisations with developing a comprehensive approach for managing MSDs.

We have been successful in attaining a 2014 Development grant from Injury Safety Compensation Recovery Research to examine: Workplace barriers to reducing incidence of musculoskeletal and mental disorders.

New book

Jodi has been involved in a book that has just been released:

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Psychosocial Factors at Work in the Asia Pacific

The concept of the book emerged from the expert meetings of the Asia Pacific Academy for Psychosocial Factors at Work, of which the Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors at La Trobe has been attending. One of the aims of the book was to gain a better understanding of workplace psychosocial issues across the region- the book is certainly an eye opener in this respect. Another aim was to increase academic links across the region.The book features inputs from 30 academics with 26 from the Asia Pacific (Japan (6), Australia (11), China (1), South Korea (1), Malaysia (6), and New Zealand (1)). There are additional international contributions from Germany (3) and Belgium (1).

For more information: http://www.springer.com/psychology/personality+%26+social+psychology/book/978-94-017-8974-5 

Flexible Working Practices

Big Ben

 

I’m Victoria and I started work on a PhD early last year titled ‘The effects of flexible working practices on employee health and wellbeing’. I’ve always been interested in work-life balance and the health impacts that arise when juggling work and life’s other activities.

Flexible working practices (FWPs), which can be either formal or informal, and organisation-led or employee-led, are common in many occupations and industry sectors. It is envisaged that these patterns will continue as working hours become increasingly diverse to meet operational requirements of organisations, and new technologies facilitate practices such as working remotely. These types of flexible working practices are often considered to be beneficial to either organisational or employee outcomes, depending on whether the flexible working practice in question has been initiated by the organisation or employee. However, there has been little empirical research to determine the impact of flexible working practices on outcomes such as employee health and wellbeing. A recent review (Joyce, Pabayo, Critchley, & Bambra, 2010) suggested that flexibility in working patterns that give employees more choice or control is likely to be beneficial for employees’ health and wellbeing.

My research includes both quantitative and qualitative components where I will explore aspects of flexible working patterns in the residential aged care sector and whether a relationship exists between flexibility and health outcomes.

Reference

Joyce, K., Pabayo, R., Critchley, J. A., & Bambra, C. (2010). Flexible working conditions and their effects on employee health and wellbeing (Review). The Cochrane Collaboration