Web-OOS Network Support
For Occupational Overuse Syndrome Sufferers -
Support and Information

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Whangaparaoa OOS Support Group direct contact


•CIS News is the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) occupational health and safety arm (we're sorry about the pun!). To view info about them, browse the CIS database.

OOS Work Safety

One of the worst things about severe OOS is that it can cripple not only your body but also your career. It can ruin your life both socially and economically. Just like any other disability can and does. It's easy to become despondent when you realise that you have lost so much of what you once had.

In order to remain in your job or return to work when you're sufficiently recovered, you must be allowed to, and able to, work safely. This means that both employer and employee need to work in harmony (sigh, if only...but we are encouraged to hear that it does happen sometimes).


  • Avoid reaching up. Keep everything you can below heart level. This avoids high pressure on arm circulation.
  • Have an ergonomic report done on your workplace if you are injured there.
  • Take work breaks and do not bend to pressure to work beyond your reasonable capacity. If your employer is being unreasonable, join a trade union.
  • Remember that every time you lift your arms, you are putting strain on them. Guard them carefully. Pause and relax your arms at your sides often. Even if you don't have pain now, it can come like a "thief in the night" and rob you of your life and career.
  • Warm-up and stretch before using your arms and at periods during the day, too.
  • On the computer, learn to use your shortcut keys instead of the mouse, eg Alt-tab takes you through the different windows you have open.

...look after your hands, live long and prosper!...

What's On This Page:


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Safeguard Magazine, general work safety NZ mag
Work factors causing OOS
RSI Program. A good website but programming errors on it.
R & D Ergonomics. Computer aids.

National Radiological Laboratory

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader for a lot of the manuals. If you don't have it you can get it here.

There are a lot of excellent manuals freely available from the Dept of Occupational Safety and Health. Here are a few:
Office Manual, downloads from OSH.

Library Manual, downloads from OSH.

Guide to the Prevention of OOS in the Meat, Poultry and Fish Processing Industries, downloads from OSH.

The Hairdresser's Safety Manual by the NZ Association of Hairdressers, downloads from OSH.

Doctor Wigleys OOS prevention booklet - a summary only
This rheumatologist has his practise in Palmerston North, NZ. He has a definite interest in the suffering of people with OOS. You can buy his booklet at Whitcoulls. Dr Wigley is one of the doctors who apparently had input into the ergonomic software, Workpace.

Excellent Q's and A's on ergonomics and terms frequently used in connection with OOS.


Download Mousetool. This software automatically clicks once when you move your mouse cursor over a link and stop. You have to be careful where you stop your cursor of course! Send us a review.

Download ActiveClick - Software that clicks, drags and makes you take stretch breaks to help relieve Carpal Tunnel, Tendonitis, & RSI. An automatic mouseclick with some extras. Send us a review.

Download BreakTime, the shareware version says it is free but it is actually only the trial period that is free. It is developed by Deborah Quilter and Isotope Media, LLC. Send us a review.
Take a look at Deborah's website, too.

Download the Workpace trial, it's very good. You can use it for one month before buying it.

Download the Floppy Ergonomist from OSH. Send us a review.

Voice activated software, info available here but it's American. Ask your local computer dealer about voice activated software.

It's a challenge to find help if your workplace is not an office. For example, if it's a library, meatworks etc. Instructions on how to work are available but the aids seem to be hard to find. If anyone has further info on this, we would like to hear about it! Please email us at OOS ergonomics support.


NZ Herald Articles:

• This article shows that stress factors at work can predict the onset of OOS. Actually, because muscles naturally tense under stressful conditions, this merely confirms that continual contraction of the arm muscles will lead to OOS.
• Posture. This article emphasises posture. We agree! But it should be noted that there are jobs which require abnormal posture and excessive arm-raising or back-bending, e.g.library work, meatworks, hair-dressing, sonography.

In Dec 2000, Geoff Cumming reported a series in the NZ Herald on ACC. Here's a few of them:

• Functional Capacity Evaluation is examined in this article. Dr John Hancock does his best to expose the dangers of FCE Systems. We are surprised at ACC's comment that some "long-term" claimants develop a "victim mentality", considering the fact that they often ARE victims! And the unhelpful harrassment by ACC and employer alike is not publicised but needs to be. This aspect alone has caused many to lose their health AND their jobs!
ACC: please get alongside your clients, and do not use bullying and harassment tactics. We know that some case managers are excellent but there are far too many stories of harassment and even cruelty. Remember that most people who are injured want to get back to a fulfilled life. You can choose to either help or hinder.
ACC Doctors: you are paid a lot to do reports for ACC. Please ensure you do your job properly and fairly, ensuring that you know how to examine for trigger points and that you observe in your report any swelling, mottling, and/or cyanosis of the hands. Tests which may help to diagnose do not appear to be recommended very often. Many of your patients are in severe pain and want it resolved. Please do your very best. Unfortunately, we have heard reports that some doctors appear to be misogynists. If you suspect that you are, please get help from a psychologist before interviewing female patients.

• Claimants who have been removed from ACC by Work Capacity Evaluations and claims by ACC Drs that their condition is no longer injury-related. Also, in this article, the 30-hour work assessment by "occupational medicine doctors".
• The "Independent" Review Panel is ACC-owned. Labour govt promises to make changes to work-capacity testing.

Disclaimer: this OOS website is intended to be for group support and discussion and NOT for medical assessment nor professional legal advice of any kind.
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