What should a person do if they are worried they might be getting Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS)?
It's important for the person to act immediately and report their symptoms to their employer, or where appropriate their supervisor, health and safety representative or health professional.
Employers are responsible for identifying and managing workplace hazards that can harm employees. In the case of OOS, such hazards could include poorly designed workstations and equipment, poor task design, excessive workloads, insufficient work breaks, and inadequate training in the correct use of equipment and tools.
Employees need to be made aware of the causes and early warning symptoms of OOS, the hazards posed by the equipment and tools they use (and the way they use them), and the basic skills of body use such as good posture, exercises to refresh tight muscles, relaxed ways of doing work and how to take micropauses.
There is a lot of useful information and advice about OOS on the Department of Labour and ACC web sites.
See in particular: 'Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Occupational Overuse Syndrome' and 'Checklists for the Evaluation of Work'.
See also the 'Approved Code of Practice for the Safe Use of VDUs in the Workplace' and the associated material on the use of VDUs.
Date Modified: Monday, 8 July 2013
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