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Occupational Health and Safety Issues Faced by Environmental Health Officers: A Perspective From Western Australian

Abstract

Environmental health officers (EHOs) are exposed to various physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial hazards as frontline public health professionals. These exposures to workplace hazards, however, can be overlooked by EHOs. This study investigates occupational health and safety (OHS) issues faced by EHOs in Western Australia. We conducted an online questionnaire-based cross-sectional study. In total, 75 EHOs completed the survey. We analyzed differences in the general demographic profile, occupational profile, and OHS perception of participants. EHOs perceived themselves as being at risk of exposure to workplace stress; workplace violence; injury from sharps; and slips, trips and falls. Most participants also identified job demands, work–life balance, and biomechanical demands to be other important risks. This study provides useful preliminary information in understanding OHS issues in the environmental health profession.


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Speaker / Author:
Garry Dine, MSc, PhD, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University
Sue Reed, MSc, MEngSc, PhD, PhD, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University
Jacques Oosthuizen, MMedSci, PhD, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University
Month Year:
April 2021
Volume#:
83.8
Page #:
20-28
Publication Month:
April 2021
Subtopic:
Workforce Development