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Call Centre Operator

Call Centre Operator | It's time to meet.... |

Tom works in a call centre with a large number of staff handling high volume calls.  All the staff are on shift work and cover operational hours from 5.00am through until 10pm seven days a week. 

PatrickandAlexis Doyle's insight:

Tom and his team work in a relatively low risk environment, however they still have to deal with a number of hazards on a daily basis.  These include:


- Ergonomics.  It is essential that the chair and work station are set at the correct height and position to allow the operator to work comfortably .  This minimses the chance of injury due to poor posture over extended periods.


- Acoustic Shock.  This occurs as a results of either a fault on the phone line, or very loud background noise during a call.  The operators headset is designed to reduce excessive noise.  The operator can also control the volume manually if required.


- Trip hazards.  Each workstation has a large amount of cabling running from the multiple pieces of equipment being used.  If the cabling comes loose during maintenance, or is incorrectly installed, this can result in a trip hazard


- Fatigue.  Staff can become fatigued due to length of time spent in a sedentary position in front of a screen.  Regular breaks and exercises which can be done at the work station help to reduce the incidence of fatigue.

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Microbiologist | It's time to meet.... |

Kharen is a microbiologist with one of Australia's leading medical research institutes.  Their areas of research include bone biology, cancer, immunology and neurology.  Kharen specialises in research for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.  The institute has wide ranging research capabilities, utilising state of the art equipment in their laboratories and clinical research facility.

PatrickandAlexis Doyle's insight:

While Kharen's laboratory work is meticulously planned and  happens within a controlled environment, she and her colleagues may be exposed to multiple risks.  These include:


- Biological hazards.  Exposure to biological material such as body fluids and tissue samples.  Appropriate personal protective equipment and adhering to strict procedures are used to minimise this exposure.


- Needlestick or cut injuries when using sharp implements.  Strict procedures are put in place to reduce the likelihood of exposure to this type of injuries.  The consequences of these injuries may be serious if the implement has been used on biological matter prior to the injury.


- Electric shock.  Electric shock equipment is used during some experiments.  Proper training in the use of this equipment will reduce the risk of personal injury.  Appropriate PPE should also be used conducting experiments using electric shock equipment.


- Chemical exposure.  Numerous chemicals used during experiments can be toxic, corrosive, or produce hazardous fumes.  Use of correct equipment such as non-reactive measuring implements and fume cupboards, along with segregation protocols and limiting the volume of chemical used will reduce this risk.


There are numerous other risks associated with working in a laboratory environment.  In order to reduce the likelihood of injury to staff, patients, students and visitors, strict policies and procedures must be adhered to.  These include, amongst other things, appropriate training for equipment usage, utilisation of personal protective equipment, using the correct tools for the task at hand, knowledge of relevant treatment techniques and knowing the location of first aid kits, eye wash stations, chemical showers etc.

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Intensive Care Paramedic

Intensive Care Paramedic | It's time to meet.... |

Anthony is an Intensive Care Paramedic with Careflight.  As a shift worker, he and his crew operate both day and night.  Their area of operations vary from coastal regions to remote inland areas.  As such weather conditions can vary greatly, and play a pivotal role in the safe operation of the helicopter.  While the pilots are primarily responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft, all team members take an active approach to operational safety, particularly when conducting winching operations.

PatrickandAlexis Doyle's insight:

There are many hazards and risks associated with this job.  While not all of them are listed below, some of the main risks include:


- Slips, trips and falls.  Daily inspections of the helicopter require the crew to climb on top and inspect the rotor.  This can be dangerous in wet or windy conditions.


- Manual handling.  Removing the helicopter from the hangar requires a combination of mechanical and manual handling.


- Chemical exposure.  During refueling operations, crew are exposed to JetA1 fuel.  Risks include skin and eye contamination, and the risk of fire.


- Ergonomics.  Seating in the rear of the helicopter has poor ergonomics.  Extended periods in these seats can lead to short or long term back injuries.


- Manual handling.  Moving a patient on a stretcher, along with medical equipment can weigh up to 160kg.  Working in remote areas with limited helpers can expose the crew to serious manual handling injuries while moving a patient into the helicopter.


- Fall from heights.  Winching operations expose the paramedic to multiple risks.  As such, all crew members take part in a risk assessment prior to commencement of winching operations.  Potential risks include mechanical failure of the winch, fraying of the winch cable, trees snagging the winch man during descent or accent, or engine failure whilst the helicopter is hovering.


Other risks to the crew and aircraft include bird strike, which is possible due to the altitude at which both birds and helicopters fly, and wire strikes during descent.  Single strand wires can blend into the surrounding terrain and can be catastrophic if the helicopter strikes them.



Nick Holden's curator insight, June 3, 2014 8:52 PM

This is where I aspire to be in the next 5-10 years. Once I have enough experience on road, I will fly high in the sky, saving lives and finding new ways to better pre-hospital medicine!

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Swimming Coach

Swimming Coach | It's time to meet.... |

Damian is a swimming coach and spends most of his day in the water with kids as young as three, through to young adults.  He works at indoor and outdoor pools, and usually works split shifts.  As he is responsible for the safety of numerous people on a daily basis, he must ensure that the pool is properly maintained, with the correct level of chemicals and free of contaminants.

PatrickandAlexis Doyle's insight:

As Damian is responsible for his own safety and that of his students, he faces a number challenges on a daily basis.  Some of these include:


- Environmental.  A lot of Damian's work is done outdoors.  This means he must protect himself from the sun using full length swim shirts, hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.  In the event of electrical storms he must ensure all people in the pool area are away from the water and safe from potential lightning strikes.


- Chemical.  Damian has a responsibility to ensure the pool is properly maintained and the water is safe to swim in.  As such he is exposed to pool chemicals daily.  He must also make sure the chemicals are properly stored and do not pose a hazard to anyone else.


- Temperature.  Due to the water temperature, Damian is limited in the number of consecutive hours he can spend in the pool.  If he spends too long in a cold pool, this can significantly reduce his core temperature and expose him to the risk of hypothermia


- Fatigue.  Due to the physical nature of the job, and the fact that he works around school hours, Damian mostly works split shifts.  This usually results in a longer than normal working day.

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Tour guide

Tour guide | It's time to meet.... |

Brett runs a tour company in central Australia, operating extended small group tours.  The tours visit areas such as Yulara, Uluru, Mount Connor, Cave Hill and various other significant indigenous cultural sites.  Tour groups include high school students, corporate clients and private charters.  Due to the extreme heat of the summer months, most of the extended tours operate during the cooler months from April through until September.  However day tours operate year round.

PatrickandAlexis Doyle's insight:

When conducting extended group tours, Brett needs to consider numerous aspects of safety that can impact upon the tour.  While this list is not exhaustive, consideration must be given to:


- Weather conditions.  Extremes of weather can impact heavily on a tour.  Potential consequences of weather can include heat stress during the hotter months.  Exposure, leading to hypothermia during the winter months.  Accessibility to remote sites during wet weather.  Most of the touring is conducted off-road and fully equipped four wheel drive buses are essential.


- Medical emergencies.  Brett is trained in Remote Emergency Care and also works closely with a local helicopter company in the event a medical evacuation is required.  Communications are essential, so a satellite phone is always on hand.  While Brett's clients are aware of the remoteness of the areas they are going to, it is imperative that they are fit to travel.


- Wildlife.  While it's a bonus to see wildlife in its natural environment, there are some things you don't want to get too close to.  These include dingos, snakes, scorpions, centipedes, spiders and perenties (very large lizards).


- Vehicles.  All the buses and four wheel drive vehicles are maintained to the highest standard due to the remote locations they travel to.  However, rough roads sometimes result in equipment failure.  Spare parts are carried with each vehicle and contingency plans are in place in the event a vehicle can't be repaired "on the road".


- Food and water.  While fresh supplies are taken on each trip, it is essential they are stored correctly prior to, and during the trip.  Some products are frozen and packed with dry ice to ensure they last until required.  Brett also has a number of campsites set up with solar power, cooking facilities, dry stores, bathing facilities and fresh water supplies.





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