New Zealand sex workers have been told how to avoid back strain and occupational overuse syndrome (OOS) through “repetitive massage” in new health and safety guidelines produced by a government department.
Bad backs can be avoided by “ensuring that all beds and other workstations support the back and allow for a variety of services to be performed without strain or discomfort”, the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) said.
“Repetitive massage which could cause overuse injury to the hands, arm and back could be alternated with other (non-repetitive) activities,” the guidelines said.
The 100-page Guide to Occupational Health and Safety in the New Zealand Sex Industry carries a red-letter warning: “This document contains sexually explicit material”.
It recommends sex workers check condoms for breakage or usage “when the service has been occurring for more than five minutes”.
“Relubrication is a good excuse to use to stop the service and check/change the condom,” it says.
AdvertisementThe guide was developed on the advice of a parliamentary committee which heard evidence from sex workers and others while considering legislation which legalised prostitution in New Zealand earlier this year.
The Department of Labour, which oversees OSH, said it had consulted with “stakeholders, the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC), self-employed sex workers, and owner/operators of commercial sex industry establishments”.
The Ministry of Health the police and the Accident Compensation Commission had also been consulted before drawing up the guide.
The guide contains a number of fact sheets giving specific advice on topics including first aid, fire safety, heating and cooling in the workplace, lighting and smoking.
The lighting section advises workers doing house calls to “carry a small torch to be used in the event of there being unsatisfactory lighting for a thorough examination of a client in the client’s home, hotel room or car”.