CErgOSH Centre staff prominent in National Industrial Safety Review


Professor Stephen Legg and Dr Kirsten Olsen, with their respective research students Justine Croft and Jane Pierce, were prominently featured in the 2017 Yearbook Industrial Safety News .

The yearbook selected only four presentations to feature from 31 given at the inaugural Health and Safety Associations of New Zealand (HASANZ) conference held in Wellington on 7-9 September 2016 – and two of them were by Stephen and Kirsten and their research students.

The first was ‘Improving learning from workplace incidents’ by Kirsten Olsen and Justine Croft.  Their paper indicated that barriers to learning in a dairy farming group included: reluctance to report incidents which were seen as low priority; a fear of blame or perception of stupidity; a kiwi bloke attitude, and a reluctance to have to retrain. Additional hindrances were: a lack of investigative skills; cancelation or postponement of weekly team meetings; issues not being shared amongst staff from other farms; the summary of incidents being too brief, lacking in detail and ‘disinfected’ by the categorisation process; a poor follow-up process to ensure recommended actions were implemented, and a policy manual too large to be effectively read and understood.

The second was To sit, or not to sit – that is the question by Stephen Legg and Jane Pierce. Their paper reviewed current evidence about the deleterious health effects of excessive sedentariness in modern society and provided a New Zealand example of a potential mitigating intervention – the use of sit-stand desks. Their overall conclusions were summarised in a paraphrasing of Shakespeare’s famous Hamlet speech: To sit – to stand? To sit - perchance to move: ay, there’s the rub! The fair sitter – nymph-like should also stand and in thy motion, sitting pains will be only sins rememb’red!

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