Spotlight on for the next generation
Cleo Varianou-Mikellidou & Georgios Boustras: Early Career Researcher Board – Safety Science Journal
Maren Jennings & Peter Paulus: Good Healthy Schools Initiative (GHSI) – Connecting experts, sharing insights, shaping the future of education
J. David Magee: OSH Literacy – the fourth essential life-skill literacy for the 21st Century
Early Career Researcher Board – Safety Science Journal
PhD, Lecturer in Occupational Safety and Health, European University Cyprus - CERIDES
Professor in Risk Assessment, European University Cyprus – CERIDES
Starting an academic career is exciting and challenging at the same time. Early Career Researchers (ECRs) should be able to overcome any difficulties and enjoy this new beginning while taking important steps for their careers. Facing challenges might mean finding resources/funding, publishing scientific papers and searching for career progression.
Even post doctorates are facing similar challenges. For example, lack of resources for researchers means an unclear and unsafe academic future. One of the most important tools for academics, in any stage, especially for ECRs, is the publication of scientific papers. Of course, the publication journey is not easy. It requires among others, self-discipline, motivation and time management while struggling to focus and keep a work-life balance.
Taking into account all the above, Safety Science Journal is currently seeking ECRs (Occupational Safety and Health related PhD title the last 8 years) aiming to create an Early Career Researchers Board. This initiative aims at helping ECRs:
- gain experience on the required steps for scientific papers to be published e.g. reviewing papers,
- suggest Special Issues for Safety Science Journal,
- suggest other action to be taken by the Journal,
To conclude, since we live in a highly competitive scholarly world, ECRs should be self-motivated and use any given opportunity like the above initiative by Safety Science Journal, to support their academic journey and gain a successful career.
The link to the form for the above mentioned initiative is here.
Cleo Varianou-Mikellidou, PhD, Lecturer in Occupational Safety and Health, European University Cyprus - CERIDES
Georgios Boustras, Professor in Risk Assessment, European University Cyprus – CERIDES
Good Healthy Schools Initiative (GHSI) – Connecting experts, sharing insights, shaping the future of education
Leuphana GmbH, Department for Education and Health, Lüneburg
Professor of Psychology, Centre for Applied Health Sciences (ZAG), Leuphana University Lüneburg
The "Good Healthy Schools Initiative" is a three-year project aimed at connecting experts, sharing insights, and shaping the future of education through health.
Our mission is to identify national and international partners who share our passion for creating healthy and thriving school environments to achieve better educational results. Our approach is simple yet powerful and innovative: we believe that by integrating health interventions into education frameworks, we can foster wellbeing in schools and thereby improve educational outcomes.
What We Offer:
- Network: Connect with a diverse community of experts and innovators
- Exchange: Share and learn from innovative initiatives worldwide
- Product Development: Collaborate on guides, handouts, papers, programs, and digital media
- Symposiums: The possibility to attend two enlightening symposiums in Dresden, Germany, to explore integrated health approaches in school environments
Our Perspective: We see health as a driver and resource for education in schools. We envision schools where wellbeing is woven into every aspect, creating nurturing social systems (Lebenswelten) that prioritize the mental, emotional, physical and social health of students, teachers, and staff.
- 🤝 Collaborate with global experts
- 🌱 Shape the future of education
- 🎓 Redefine health and education in schools
- 💡 Exchange innovative ideas
- 🗓️ Symposiums in 2024 and 2025
What We Aim to Achieve Together:
- Learn from each other and disseminate the "Good Healthy Schools" approach
- Explore promising strategies from around the world
- Develop and refine our approach qualitatively
- Identify collaboration opportunities with other countries
Get Involved: Join us in this exciting journey towards education excellence through health. Let's transform schools into thriving communities that value and safeguard mental, physical, emotional and social health. Together, we can elevate education standards, making schools ecological places of learning and well-being.
If you are interested or need further information please contact us:
Maren Jennings, Leuphana GmbH, Department for Education and Health, Lüneburg
Peter Paulus, Professor of Psychology, Centre for Applied Health Sciences (ZAG), Leuphana University Lüneburg
OSH Literacy – the fourth essential life-skill literacy for the 21st Century
J. David Magee
Founder of www.OSHliteracy.org
Which of these signs is best to supplement the ‘No Entry’ pictogram, especially for persons with low levels of English literacy?
OSH Literacy (OL) is the ability to identify and apply the OSH information and services we need to keep ourselves and others safe. OSH literacy is an umbrella term that covers a rainbow of ‘literacies’ i.e., chemicals, fire, electrical, traffic, health, which all use an internationally standardised system of signs, signals, symbols and terminology to communicate OSH information. Examples can be found ‘wherever there are people’ (ISO). As with other literacies, there are hard and soft subject-specific skills such as hasard awareness and how to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which a person must acquire before they can be classed as competent in that field.
For almost two decades, with the support of ENETOSH, we have been advocating that OL is just as important, if not more so, to an individual's short and long-term health and wealth as any of the other recognized essential skills: English, ICT or Numeracy for life in the twenty-first century Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), and that OL should be recognised and taught as an essential life-skill literacy in the safety of a classroom before young people encounter it in work and independent living. We are almost there, but we need your help.
oshliteracy.org has been actively campaigning for the ISO Plain Language Guidelines, a Wikipedia page and recognition in dictionaries for many years. The Oxford English, Collins, Cambridge and Merriam Webster dictionaries are now reviewing the term for entry into their dictionaries. I have also been active in other ways to raise awareness of this important literacy.
A small chronicle of the OL:
6th June 2022: The ILO amended its ‘Four (4) Fundamental Rights at Work’, to include OSH, now the fifth (5th).
16th – 19th September 2022: UN Global Education Summit (the first ever) hold in New York. UNESCO is currently undertaking a global survey to seek new literacies to ‘fill the gap’ caused by Covid. OL is ‘human sustainability’ and is aligned to the UN’s SDGs 2030, especially SDG 4, addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups, particularly women and girls; girls’ and women’s literacy, seen as lifelong learning, is integral to achieving the aims of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UNESCO, 2022).
20th June 2023: The International Organization for Standardization published its Plain Language Guidelines, Part 1 (24495), (ISO, 2023). All written information (electronic or printed) should now be presented in a way that a person with the lowest measurable levels of literacy i.e., A1 & A2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) can access it. The Guidelines are applicable ‘across all languages and industries.’ Obviously, this is especially important for OSH information. There is great emphasis throughout the document to ‘build on existing knowledge’. However, there is no mention from where the public will gain these skills. For young people in particular, that type of structured learning can only happen in schools.
The ISO 24495 publication was the final proof that the signs, signals, symbols and terminology used to communicate OSH information is a standardised literacy that can be taught and measured from beginner level to advanced. This is a real gamechanger to achieve ENETOSH’s aim.
21st June 2023 (the following day) Wikipedia finally recognised and published a page on OSH literacy. Indeed, when you search for Occupational Health Literacy, an established and well researched literacy, on Wikipedia now, you are directed to the OSH literacy page.
Most global OSH and Literacy (education) Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) now recognise and call for OL to be taught in schools and workplaces as an essential life-skill literacy and as a ‘a foundation for life-long learning.’ Even AI ChatGPT says that OL should be taught in schools! Ask it.
The biggest hurdle to get OSH mainstreamed within the EU or anywhere else in the world is ‘official’ recognition of it as an important school subject. OSH has always been categorised as a post-compulsory-education (Level 1 and above) subject and thus was treated (funded) as such. Hence all OSH qualifications begin at level 1. Currently, there are no entry-level OSH qualifications anywhere; they simply do not exist. As a result, school-leavers and other vulnerable groups were, and continue to be, functionally OSH illiterate when they leave compulsory education. They do not have the foundation skills to access Level 1 OSH communications and the results are that:
- Poor communications and human factors cause between 80- 90% of global accidents in, and out of, the workplace (Shuen & Rollah 2019).
- The ILO estimates that some 2.3 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year; this corresponds to over 6000 deaths every single day. Worldwide, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually (ILO 2023).
- Globally more than 1600 children and adolescents below the age of 19-years die every day from preventable injuries (UNICEF 2023).
- Injuries are the leading cause of death among those aged 5 – 19 years, and five out of six of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.
- Every year tens of millions more children and young people worldwide are taken to hospitals with injuries that often leave them with life-long disabilities (UNICEF 2023).
- Every year, unintentional injuries kill nearly 42,000 under the age of 20 in the WHO European Region (WHO 2008).
However, we must take into account:
- There is extreme competition for space on school curricula and other learning platforms: ICT, English, Numeracy, Information, Financial literacies, and more. These are all very well-known and well-funded literacies.
- The OSH community cannot remain quiet in this current and urgent discourse and be left behind in education, yet again.
- What benefits would OL have had prior, during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
- We do not know from where or when the next global, national, local or personal safety and health crisis will come; but we know it will come.
- Concise and cohesive communications are essential for short and long-term health and safety as well as socio-economic mobility.
A call for concerted effort:
- We in ENETOSH and other OSH and educational bodies must now make a concerted effort to raise awareness and lobby for OSH literacy to be classified as the 4th essential life-skill literacy for IR 4.0. and for it to be mainstreamed into education at entry level.
- OSH literacy must become more central in the education, safety and health discourse.
- Leaders and legislators must be lobbied and reminded to comply with their commitments to the ILO, ISO and their citizens and ensure individuals have the basic OL skills needed to understand and apply OSH information and their rights.
- Work with national legislators, business and educational bodies in your home countries to raise awareness of OSH literacy and the ISO Plain Language Guidelines, 24495.
- Create an OSH literacy policy for your organization, as others have done, and make it visible on your webpages and publications.
- September 08th is World Literacy Day; that would be the perfect day to put a link on your webpages and/or issue a press release.
- ENETOSH members shall help to translate the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupational_Safety_and_Health_Literacy into as many languages as possible, (please contact me to help translate: email@example.com).
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 2023. Plain Language Guidelines, Part 1 - : Governing principles and guidelines (24495-1:2023). ISO 24495-1:2023 - Plain language — Part 1: Governing principles and guidelines
Shuen Y. S & Shah Rollah A.W (2019). The relationship between safety communication and human factor accidents at the workplace: a conceptual framework, Jurnal Kemanusiaan, vol 17, No 1.
Occupational Safety and Health Literacy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupational_Safety_and_Health_Literacy (retrieved on 23 August 2023).
European Commission (2022). Migration and migrant population statistics .https://ec.europa.eu › statistics-explained › index.ph (retrieved on 23. August 2023)
UNESCO [ 2022]. Transforming Education Summit. Transforming Education Summit | UNESCO
UNICEF (2023). Child and Adolescent Injuries, New York. Child and adolescent injuries | UNICEF (retrieved on 23 August 2023)
ILO (2023). World Statistic, Geneva. World Statistic (ilo.org) (retrieved on 23 August 2023).
World Health Organisation (WHO) (2008). European Report on Child Injury Prevention, Geneva.
J. David Magee (Founder), www.OSHliteracy.org