During the mid 1990s while I was doing research for the Australian Democrats Senator Robert Bell I was communicating with researchers from Swedish Union of Clerical and Technical Employees in Industry (SiF). They were investigating a range of health hazards being found in modern IT office-places and were looking for international partnerships with other trade unions who were interested in this issue. Fortunately they sent me a number of English-language SiF publications on their “No-Risk in the IT environment” project which are now available on my website.
During the 1990’s the Swedish Union of Clerical and Technical Employees in Industry (SiF) instigated research into reports of electro-magnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) in the modern information technology (IT) workplace with a possible link with chemical emissions from new electronic equipment. The research team at SiF were concerned that the modern IT workplace may be creating new and serious risks to health, as a result SiF initiated the No-Risk project which aimed at addressing all possible health hazards in the modern office-place. In 1999 SiF initiated the “Healthy Office project” in partnership with the Luleå University of Technology (LTU).
The Healthy Office project aimed at implementing the points raised in the SiF “No Risk” publications. However due to corporate (Ericsson) and government concerns that the SiF No-Risk and the Healthy Office projects were a threat to the introduction of new technology (mainly Ericsson’s new office place DECT cordless phones), the projects were totally closed down with people sacked and all publications withdrawn from circulation and destroyed. For all intents and purposes the SiF No Risk /Healthy Office projects were as if they never happened – replaced a new trade union focus on “psycho-social” issues. Meaning: If you get sick in the workplace and its not an obvious illness such as the flu, you just might be suffering from a psychosomatic illness.
However, the SiF No-Risk / Healthy Office project pamphlets are now available on my website in honour of the brave women and men who worked to make the modern IT office a safer and healthy place to work in. It is important to note, however, that the health hazards identified by the SiF No Risk project in the 1990s are still problems that can be encountered in the modern IT office environment, not to mention the modern “Smart” home.
These publications and related material are available at http://www.emfacts.com/norisk/
I will be adding more relevant documents when they become available, including the 1995 SiF research document “Hypersensitivity to electricity”
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