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Taskforce 2

Mainstreaming OSH into Higher education

Integrating occupational safety and health into higher education

The world of work is facing major challenges due to rapid technological change, globalisation, climate change and the Covid 19 pandemic. Occupational safety and health professionals must address these challenges, but it is unclear how well their academic training programmes prepare them for this task.

Against this background, an international working group coordinated by ENETOSH is addressing the question of how the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 8 "Decent Work and Economic Growth", are integrated into higher education.

In its first phase of 2020 and 2021, the Task Group conducted an online survey on the current state of integrating SDG 8 in higher education, focusing on study programs in Occupational Safety, Industrial Hygiene, and Ergonomics (OSH), Occupational Medicine (OM), and Human Resource Management (Business and Management Schools) (HRM). 114 study programs from 90 universities in 29 European countries were included.

The results of this study were published online in April 2022 and printed in March 2023: https://academic.oup.com/occmed/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/occmed/kqac018/6573922

In the second phase, starting in October 2023, the Task Group will conduct a series of case studies on the implementation of SDG 8 in selected higher education programmes in the five regions of Africa that address health and safety at work. Training programs of priority interest concern the disciplines of medicine (occupational medicine), nursing (occupational nursing), occupational safety, occupational hygiene and ergonomics (safety science). This project is carried out in close cooperation with OSHAfrica.

Core members of this working group are: Prof (em) Johannes Siegrist, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany; Dr Ulrike Bollmann, German Social Accident Insurance; Ehi Iden, OSHAfrica, Nigeria; Dr Dingani Moyo, Baines occupational health services, Zimbabwe

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Main members of the former ENETOSH Taskforce 2 (2018-2019):
Dr Nuria Mancebo, University of Girona
Alan Cowen, University of Brighton

This TF aims firstly at a clarification of the topic ‘Mainstreaming OSH into Higher education’; secondly at the establishment of a ‘Community of practice’ in this field that covers teaching and research as well and thirdly a small ‘Champion research study’ to clarify among others the following questions: What are undergraduate and graduate students taught about OSH in Higher education? How is the preparation for the world of work integrated into the studies and lectures in Higher education? How to improve the understanding of OSH in Higher education? How to improve the knowledge about OSH in Higher education? How to involve students into the world of OSH? How to find a common language for teaching OSH in Higher education in different regions of the world? How to consider a college or university as an organization, developing its processes and structures according to OSH criteria in the sense of a ‘Good healthy university’.

Please find the following document on the work of the Taskforce here (in PDF format):
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