These included extensive time and observations in diverse public work settings to ensure the full range of population members was identified and collaboration with PWSI to locate more invisible workers.
There was universal acknowledgement in these interviews that in order to improve the health, safety, and well-being of workers it is essential to: (i) address OHS issues, (ii) alter the perceptions and behaviors of local residents, general public, police, and service providers toward the sex industry and PWSI, and (iii) diversify the services available to workers.
Some PWSI spoke of long-term or permanent disabilities that impaired their income earning capacity and overall well-being.
The concerns reported by PWSI who worked in establishments controlled by others, such as strip clubs or massage parlors, included the condition of equipment, facilities, and the establishment itself as well as work demands of management.
PWSI who worked indoors, independent of a third party, differentiated between the work conditions of in-call (clients come to workers) and out-call (workers go to clients).
The impact of the limited applicability of provincial and municipal legislation to sex work is particularly evident where municipalities are licensing certain forms of sex work and the establishments where PWSI work.
PWSI, however, most often work independently, even when they work in third-party controlled establishments.
While the GOC's fitness to practise committee can judge a practitioner's actions during a sight test against the standards required, the regulator does not have any formal standards against which to judge the fitness to practise of a registrant when acting as a PwSI. This was one of the reasons Mr Hallgate believes that his case was eventually quashed.
He was required to nominate a PwSI peer to report to the regulator on his PwSI work, as well as observe an ophthalmology department--with a focus on corneal, retinal and glaucoma specialities.
"There were times when I didn't want to continue with my work as a PwSI," Mr Hallgate admitted.
However, the good news is that Mr Hallgate is not preparing for a GOC hearing this month; instead he is 'getting back to normal,' practising as an optometrist and rebuilding his confidence in his role as a PwSI.
Optometrist and clinical adviser to the AOP, Trevor Warburton, considers the role of a PwSI