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ISSA Section Education and Training for Prevention and European Network Education and Training in Occupational Safety and Health (ENETOSH) Meeting - 28th ENETOSH Network Meeting, 26 October, A+A Congress, Düsseldorf, Germany

Alison van Keulen opened the joint meeting of the International Section on Education and Training for Prevention of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and the European Network Education and Training in Occupational Safety and Health (ENETOSH) with the very personal story of her son who is a "Well being Ambassador" at his school. This helps him and others to engage with their own bodies and reflect on the impact of the world of work currently and looking to the future. During the meeting, Alison wore "two hats", that of the Secretary General of the Section and that of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Inspired by this example, Esther Buregeya, Associated professor at Makerere University Uganda, gave a report on a study to assess the presence of mental health services in schools, communities and primary health care facilities in Uganda. Ehi Iden, President of OSHAfrica, gave an update on the National Programme for School Health in Zambia. Winson Yeung, Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC), Hong Kong SAR, China, briefly presented the Health Promoting School Programme (HPS) which has been implemented in 30 schools in Hong Kong since 2019/20 and whose implementation is based on six key indicators, as well as the International Safe Schools Programme and Safe and Healthy School Accreditation Scheme, which consist of 14 key elements for schools which help schools to devise their own safety management systems for safeguarding the health and safety of students, teachers and staff. Hülya Ünver, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Türkiye, was able to draw on the wealth of experience of her organisation. After all, the Ministry is a founding member of ENETOSH and has been a key supporter of the network's work for almost 20 years.

Like the sign in front of the bracket, the contribution of Maren Jennings, new staff member of the project "Good Healthy Schools Initiative (GHSI) - Connecting experts, sharing insights, shaping the future of education" of Leuphana GmbH, Germany, led by Prof. Peter Paulus, who unfortunately could not attend the meeting, fitted these exciting reports. According to Maren Jennings, the newly launched project's mission is: "We want to find national and international partners who share our passion for creating healthy and thriving school environments to achieve better educational outcomes. Our approach is simple but powerful and innovative: we believe that by integrating health interventions into the educational framework, we can promote well-being in schools and thereby improve educational outcomes." Within ENETOSH, the project figures as ENETOSH Task Force 1.

Evelien Jonkeren, Treasurer of the ISSA Section on Prevention in Transportation, reported on a new working group within the ISSA Section on Education and Training for Prevention entitled "Vision Zero - Reaching the Unreachable". Mireya Rifá Fabregat, President of ENSHPO, reported on another new working group within the Education and Training Section at the very beginning of the meeting on the topic of digitalisation. Members of ENETOSH, including Christian Lang, Vinka Longin Peš and Dr. Ulrike Bollmann, are also involved in this working group, which is chaired by Mireya. Mireya also mentioned the MoU between ENSHPO and ENETOSH, which was renewed in June this year.

Like a wake-up call to all participants, - besides those mentioned above, Masego Zulu-Lekgowe, S.H.E Masters, Botswana, Alexandra Fritz, TÜV Rheinland, Germany, and as an observer Johanna Mai, DGUV, took part in the session, - Esther Buregeya's critical question about the evidence-based nature of our activities on integrating safety and health into education rang out. Given the existing lack of evidence-based research on the topic, she called for at least formulating appropriate research questions in order to be able to launch suitable projects.

We now need a clearer action following the meeting. A first step is to answer two questions from our immediate networks to shape our joint direction:

  1. What activities are already happening that demonstrate clear integration of OSH within education settings? E.g., with a focus on activities to ensure mental health in educational settings.
  2. Is any work ongoing to map the current integration or requirement, or is there any interest to work with us to map? E.g., in cooperation with the Good Healthy School“ project?

A firmed up ‘next meeting’ or an action to firm one up (e.g. we will send a doodle poll) could be arranged, e.g. at the planned International OSH Conference in Istanbul in May 2024.

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