There are many sources of information on call centres. Here are a few:
- The ASU has a webpage on Call Centres, with resources, including the Good Practice Guide for OHS in Call Centres [pdf], developed by the ASU with funding from WorkSafe Victoria, which can also be downloaded on the right hand side of this page. The union undertook a national survey in 2009 into the issues affecting call centre workers in Australia. The overwhelming single issue affecting call centre workers identified in the survey is stress - the causes and contributions vary from workplace to workplace.
- ACTU Guidelines for Screen Based Work (opens as a document) which covers all aspects of working with computers.
- Officewise - A guide to health and safety in the office This is a very useful government produced manual which provides information on a wide range of office related issues.
- Western Australian Code of Practice for Occupational Health and Safety in Call Centres (2005)
- Participative Ergonomics - A blueprint [pdf] - from WorkCover NSW
- An Industry Guideline from the Australian Communications Industry Forum: Acoustic Safety for Telephone Equipment [pdf]
- Publications from the UK's HSE:
- Psychosocial risk factors in call centres: An evaluation of work design and well-being - a research report on whether working as a call handler is more stressful than working in other jobs, what makes working in call centres stressful and what can be done to reduce the psychosocial risks associated with working as a call handler.
- Information on Acoustic Shock
- From international union organisation UNI, an October 2012 report: Making the right call - redesigning call centres from the bottom up. The report points to negative psychological and physical impacts on the world's call centre workers of poor management practices. Counterproductive practices identified include intensive monitoring of calls and linking punishment or dismissal for failure to meet performance targets. UNI says as a result of these management techniques, workers suffer from repetitive strain injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, stress, anxiety and burnout. You can download the report as well as the executive summary from this UNI page in English, French, Spanish and German.
- Also on Acoustic Shock, information from a UK website, CallCentreHelper.com
- For information on toilet breaks, go to this page on the UK's TUC web magazine Hazards website.
- Call centre work – characteristics, physical and psychosocial exposures, and health related outcomes; Kerstin Norman; (Sweden 2005) [abstract or full document pdf]. This is a PhD thesis that found a higher proportion of call centre workers reported musculoskeletal symptoms compared to other professional computer users. The paper also looks at what call centres are and examined the deficiencies of call centre workplaces.
- Working voices: An epidemiological study of occupational voice demands and their impact on the call centre industry, IOSH, 2012 [the Summary or full report can be downloaded from this page of the IOSH website].
- Hazards voice loss webpages
Contact your union for more information.
Unions with coverage of call centres:
Unions which have coverage of call centres include:
- Australian Services Union (ASU) (Victorian Private sector branch)
- Community and Public Sector Union State Public Services Federation Victoria (CPSU/SPSF)
- Community and Public Section Union (CPSU PSU Group)
- Communication, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) - Communications Division and Victorian P&T branch,
- Finance Sector Union (FSU), and
- National Union of Workers (NUW), and
- Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) have coverage of call centres in the entertainment area (eg Ticketmaster7 and Ticketek)