International networking events – a look in the past and the future
Ugochi Obidiegwu, Safety Chic: School Safety Summit Nigeria
Masego Zulu-Lekgowe, S. H. E. Masters: School Safety Summit Botswana and more
Lorenzo Munar, Joint ENETOSH-EU-OSHA event on a strategic approach to promote physical health in schools
Announcement of future events
Safety Chic: School Safety Summit Nigeria
On 18 May 2022, The Safety Chic hosted the sixth edition of the annual School Safety Summit in Lagos, Nigeria. The theme of the summit was Child Safety: The Importance of systematic safety education. The summit was attended by teachers, parents, representatives of the Directorate General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, the Fire Service, the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, safety experts and concerned citizens. The Director General of the Lagos State Security Commission pointed out that safety was important and needed to be addressed creatively. The organiser, Ugochi Obidiegwu, stressed that the issue was important because safety education must be systematic and not just a reaction to social media trends or news. She urged all stakeholders to take responsibility and actively look after children's safety, because children can take action themselves if they are educated about safety in an age-appropriate way. This was one of the reasons for the launch of The Adventures of Muna game app at the Summit. A child safety games app that teaches children about various safety topics in a memorable and fun way.
The keynote speaker of the Summit, Dr Ulrike Bollmann, International Cooperation Division, Institute for Work and Health of the DGUV, Germany, explained the strategic plan of the European Network Education and Training in Occupational Safety and Health (ENETOSH) to establish safety education in schools. She highlighted three fields of action to make safety an integral part of schools: staff development, teaching development and organisational development. She concluded her presentation with six factors and three principles for a strategic approach. The six factors are language, common goals, collaboration, multi-level approach, participation and resources. Competence orientation, school development approach and holistic prevention perspective are the three principles on which the strategic implementation of safety in schools should be based.
The Summit featured an insightful panel discussion with speakers such as Rotimi Eyitayo, Dr Abdoulaye Diallo, Abiola Sanusi, Dr Bisi Esuruoso and Alpha Djalon. The panellists gave the audience practical tips and pointed to important resources such as the National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence Free Schools and Minimum Standards of Safe Schools.
Ugochi Obidiegwu, The Safety Chic, Nigeria, email@example.com
PS: The Adventures of Muna child safety story book can also be found on Amazon. We have a special edition that combines the 3 books in 1.
S.H.E. Masters: School Safety Summit Botswana and more
It is my great pleasure to share with you our work to create a safer world of work for humanity. My name is Masego Zulu-Lekgowe (TechIOSH), a former primary school teacher and safety professional for more than 10 years. Through my work in the education sector and subsequent entry into health and safety, I developed a better understanding of the health and safety challenges in the education sector, particularly in my home country of Botswana. So when I heard about ENETOSH, I did not hesitate to take on the role of Ambassador for Botswana. As a member of ENETOSH and a partner of VISION Zero, my team and I have taken on the responsibility of contributing our expertise to the development of a culture of prevention at school level, believing that by learning from good practices of other organisations, countries and industries such as the mining sector (Botswana), we can create a safety-conscious generation for tomorrow's global workforce.
Who we are?
S.H.E Masters is a health and safety consultancy established in 2014 in Botswana with offices in Ghana and Nigeria. Our vision is to take a leading role in building a solid foundation and culture of prevention from the grassroots upwards, so that safety education becomes a way of life rather than a choice. Education as the key to imparting basic knowledge to children should also focus on mainstreaming of health and safety in schools. We believe that by doing so, we will raise a safety conscious workforce that is able to identify hazards and manage risks that escalate in our schools and communities. These hazards directly and indirectly affect children, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents and the community at large. In light of this challenge, S.H.E Masters hold the first School Safety Summit in Botswana to bring together local and international stakeholders to discuss school safety issues and the best possible solutions to address them, and to engage leaders to take up their responsibility for school safety. The Summit brings together all those concerned with safety and other related issues under one roof to learn from each other and discuss proven strategies to address these issues at school level.
School safety summit
Our last summit in 2021 brought together international and local participants under the theme Unmute Schools Safety: A Systematic Risk Approach to Building a Resilient Safety Culture for All. Participating organisations included the International Labour Organisation (ILO), ENETOSH, IOSH, UNICEF, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Mines, the National Parents Teacher Association, the Society of Women in Safety, Health and Environment-Africa (SOW-SHEA) Stock for Health, the Botswana Police Service, local media houses, local businesses, teachers and workers' associations, to name a few.
What have we done so far?
To address the 2021 issue beyond Summit Day, we have done and will continue to do the following:
Training – We trained 46 participants from the Parent Teacher Association Botswana (North East Region) on safety in education. The course was designed to sensitise parents and teachers leading the school association on the concept of school safety so that they understand their role and how they can improve safety in the school community.
Toolbox Talk with S.H.E Masters – In this programme, we invite safety experts and the community to discuss health and safety issues to educate and raise awareness in both the formal and informal sectors. The programme is broadcast on our social media platform. As part of the programme, teachers and parents of students were invited to discuss safety issues at school and in society on various topics. Our thanks go to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development in Botswana for working with us to reach many schools in Botswana with this programme.
Children Safety Book
To meet the learning needs of children, Masego Zulu-Lekgowe, the CEO and founder of S.H.E Masters, has written a book of safety stories, covering safety concepts in the Setswana language so that children can easily relate to the story. The book illustrates everyday activities between home and school and the safety precautions to be followed in a friendly way. The book highlights the role of children from a young age in promoting safety culture so that readers understand it.
With all the great work that has been done so far in less than a year since the Summit, there are some challenges that both we and the citizens of the world need to get involved in. Botswana is a developing country and has limited access to the internet in schools, so our programme cannot reach children in remote areas of the country. As the safety concept has been dealt with mainly in the mining industry and less in the education sector, we still need to strive for acceptance and appreciation of our programmes by the leadership in both education and schools. As most of the organisations are affected by the pandemic, we are experiencing minimal support to deliver our programme in the rural areas of the country.
Call for action
This programme is not only for Botswana, but for the whole world. The children we educate today through our programme will one day be employees in global companies. We therefore call on all national and international organisations and collaborators to support us in developing a safety-conscious and prevention-minded generation. We believe that with everyone working together and in partnership, we can achieve Vision Zero at an early stage and save directly and indirectly on corrective and recovery costs. We are ready to welcome partners in our initiative, in the way that best suits the organisations. We are all responsible for our safety, and by joining the initiative you are showing your global responsibility for a safer and healthier world - now and in the future.
Masego Zulu-Lekgowe, S.H.E Masters Founder and CEO, Botswana
Joint ENETOSH-EU-OSHA event on a strategic approach to promote physical health in schools
My name is Lorenzo Munar and I have been the responsible content manager for EU-OSHAs campaign "Lighten the load 2020-22". On 23 June 2022 we conducted a virtual collaboration event together with ENETOSH supported by EU-OSHAs Focal Point in Germany on “Strategies to promote good physical health in education”. This event is the culmination of a wide range of EU-OSHA activities carried out in the framework of our current campaign on musculoskeletal diseases (MSD) and more specifically in the framework of one of our “priorities area” of this campaign called "MSDs and future generations".
The event provided a forum for 53 experts from the OSH, public health and education fields coming from 22 different countries for the discussion of different approaches and to identify opportunities for cooperation.
At the event, several sessions were held on the following key topics: The prevalence of MSDs in children and young people, mainstreaming health and physical activity in education, and education for sustainability. In addition, participants had the opportunity to reflect on these key topics in breakout rooms. A panel discussion concluded the event. Participants were more actively involved with the help of the Sli.do tool. Following the event, the wonder.me e-tool provided networking opportunities. Extensive information could be accessed on the event's landing page in the run-up to the event and up to one month after the event. My colleague Tim Tregenza, Network Manager at EU-OSHA, was the expert moderator of the event.
The prevalence of MSDs among children and young people
The first session, ‘Musculoskeletal diseases – a problem for children and adolescents?’ highlighted an average prevalence of 30% among 7-26 year olds, increasing to 34% among students, apprentices, and young workers. These were the results of a scoping review conducted by Kerstin Schmidt and Paul Schmidt, BioMath GmbH (EU-OSHA 2021). While physical, psychosocial, socio-economic and environmental risk factors were identified, the current lack of high-quality studies investigating risk factors for MSDs in children and young people means it is not yet possible to draw concrete conclusions. Further research is needed to support the implementation of public health campaigns.
Interventions using a combination of actions were found to be more effective than initiatives with a single focus. The importance of early intervention was then evidenced by Lorna Taylor, Chartered Paediatric Physiotherapist. Even our earliest movements help to develop strength, posture and endurance. Driven by a natural curiosity and desire to move, providing babies and young children with ample opportunity to play, practice gross motor skills and assess risk is not only key in the prevention of MSDs, but also supports all aspects of learning and brain development (Taylor 2020).
Mainstreaming health and physical activity in education
“Health promotion as an integral part of school development” was the focus of the second session, with Dr Peter Paulus, Leuphana University, presenting Schools for Healthy Europe (SHE). This network of 38 countries provides a valuable platform for collaborative learning. The need for a strategic shift was identified: it is necessary to support schools with their core purpose of teaching and learning. The Good Healthy Schools Approach, currently operating in German-speaking countries, aims to promote this link between education and health promotion and help schools become better schools (Paulus and Hundeloh 2020).
Heinz Hundeloh, Senior Expert, described four core messages and six principles to follow to successfully implement MSDs prevention in schools, as detailed in the Better Schools by Promoting Musculoskeletal Health report (EU-OSHA 2022). He emphasised the complexity of the school system, and how each school requires a tailored approach. While OSH professionals can certainly make the case for systemic change, this goal can only be achieved through committed collaboration with relevant stakeholders at all levels.
Education for Sustainability
During the third session it was explored how we can rethink education and learning to help meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In his keynote speech, Arjen Wals, Wageningen University, explored how an integrated and holistic learning approach could lead to more experiential and physical learning. Also, making better use of the local environment would create opportunities for movement, and improve emotional and social knowledge in the process. Alternative curriculums, school design and opportunities to empower students, teachers and school leaders to influence their school’s ethos were also discussed.
The connection between OSH and Education for Sustainability (EfS) was developed further by Maria Klotz, Institute for Work and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV). She explained how an analysis of her own institution led to the establishment of quality criteria for education for sustainability.
Further contributions from an expert panel including Peter Paulus, Maria Klotz and Martin Leitner from the Pedagogical University of Upper Austria and as well as participants followed, with ‘Transdisciplinarity’, ‘Empowerment’ and ‘Participation’ highlighted as key concepts to take forward to achieve both EfS and OSH mainstreaming in education.
School is a particularly suitable place to contribute to the early and long-term prevention of MSDs through physical education and activity, and this event demonstrated the importance of exploring opportunities for joint action to achieve systemic change.
EU-OSHA will continue to mainstream the promotion of musculoskeletal health into the education sector and in OSH in general in the framework of the current HWC campaign on MSDs until the end of the year 2022.
I would like to stress that our forthcoming campaign on Digitalisation will be another opportunity to work with ENETOSH and the education sector trying to build bridges between the OSH and the education sector.
I think it is also important to mention that the “Strategies to promote good physical health in education” that were presented at the event could also work with other health issues (like mental health). That´s why from now on EU-OSHA will promote these strategies presented today when dealing with other health or safety issues or topics. So– apart from promoting good practices examples – we will promote these strategies under our more general and ongoing project called “mainstreaming OSH into education”.
- Further information on the event is available on the event page of ENETOSH: https://enetosh.net/enetosh-events-reader/strategies-to-promote-good-physical-health-in-education.html
- You can also view additional resources in the Future Generations Priority Area of the campaign: https://healthy-workplaces.eu/en/about-topic/priority-area/future-generations
Lorenzo Munar, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) & Ulrike Bollmann, Institute for Work and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV)
- EU-OSHA - European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (2021). Musculoskeletal Disorders among Children and Young People: Prevalence, Risk Factors, Preventive Measures. A Scoping Review. Bilbao: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). Retrieved from https://osha.europa.eu/en/highlights/focusing-musculoskeletal-disorders-among-children-and-young-people-review
- EU-OSHA - European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (2022). Better schools by Promoting Musculoskeletal Health. A strategic approach for promoting exercise and preventing MSDs in schools. Bilbao: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). Retrieved from https://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/better-schools-promoting-musculoskeletal-health
- Paulus, P. & Hundeloh, H. (2020). School Heads as Change Agents: Salutogenic Management for Better Schools. In Safety and Health Competence. A Guide for Cultures of Prevention eds. U. Bollmann and G. Boustras, 199-216. Boca Raton: CRC Press. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.1201/9780429465253/safety-health-competence-ulrike-bollmann-george-boustras
- Taylor, L. (2020). Musculoskeletal Disorders in Children and Young People. OSHWiki. Retrieved from https://oshwiki.eu/wiki/Musculoskeletal_Disorders_in_Children_and_Young_People
Announcement of future events
International Cooperation Unit at DGOSH-MoLSS of the Republic of Türkiye
My name is Selçuk YAŞAR and I am the Head of the International Cooperation Unit at DGOSH-MoLSS of the Republic of Türkiye. We would like to draw your attention to a training course that we are organising as the Secretariat of OIC-OSHNET: https://oshnet.sesric.org/. The training course on "Developing strategies for mainstreaming safety and health in education systems" will be held on 25 and 26 October. The network OIC-OSHNET was established in 2011 and has 57 members. Türkiye is the permanent secretariat of the network. The training course will be organised under the network's 2021-2022 work plan and will be offered in English on the zoom internet platform. The participating officials (OSH experts, OSH inspectors, etc.) are nominated by the national focal points of the member countries. The NFPs are managers or senior officials of the OSH institutions (relevant departments of ministries, etc.) of the member countries. The aim of the training is to share good examples and best practices among OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) member countries in order to raise safety awareness and promote a safety culture by integrating OSH into training. The course focuses on whether the national programmes of all countries include OSH issues in the curricula of all levels of education.
XXIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work – Announcement
The World Congress on Safety and Health at Work is one of the largest international conferences on occupational health and safety. In 2023, it will take place in Sydney, Australia. Its theme is "Shaping Change". From 27 to 30 November, you can network and participate in workshops, forums, technical sessions, roundtable discussions and more. You can learn about new trends, develop skills to mitigate new risks and learn about best practices in occupational health and safety.
Do you have a story, opportunity, case study or research that should be presented on the world stage? Please submit your abstract here: www.safety2023sydney.com/abstracts. Deadline for abstracts is 30 November 2022.
In order to create an international forum that provides a broad range of perspectives and skills, the 23rd World Congress is committed to offering 100 delegates from low to lower-middle income countries the opportunity to attend the World Congress in person. Applications for the Fellowship Programme are open now until 30 November 2022: www.safety2023sydney.com/fellowship The World Congress will be held on Aboriginal land: the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.