Survey launched into health and safety knowledge and informationDate: 18 October 2012
People involved in health and safety at work are being invited to take part in a UK-wide study into the sources of information they use, either in their workplaces or when giving guidance to others.
Advice and guidance on how to protect workers, such as workplace design and manual handling, are many and varied in relation to type, format and cost, the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) has found.
Commissioned and funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (www.iosh.co.uk), the research has already raised questions about the accessibility of information and knowledge sources for different aspects of occupational health and safety.
Stage 1 of the project identified that, although there were a large number of resources available, there is little known about the extent of their usage. This included the reasons for the choice of different sources due to credibility and level of trust.
Joanne Crawford, Principal Investigator for the research project, said: 'We would like to invite practitioners and other groups involved in occupational safety and health, such as ergonomists, occupational health advisors, occupational physicians, safety practitioners and occupational hygienists, to complete our survey. This will really help us to explore the sources and formats they use to access information on occupational safety and health and related topics and how they communicate these to others.
'We are also interested in the factors that they think help or prevent knowledge being communicated and acted upon by the workforce.'
In an effort to examine how occupational safety and health information is identified and communicated from source to employees within organisations, the IOM's survey is aimed at those who have a role in safety and health information in their workplace, including professional practitioners and non-professionals tasked with safety and health in their workplace.
'The data will be used to identify the sources of knowledge and information people use, how they transfer knowledge in their own workplaces, and their experiences of barriers and facilitators in the process of transferring safety and health knowledge in the workplace.' added Joanne.
'We would like to discuss further with participants any recent changes that have occurred in their workplace if they would be willing to share this.'
IOSH Research and Information Services Manager Jane White said: 'This is a fascinating research project which promises to shed light on how we get our information, where it comes from and how that knowledge is passed through our organisations.
'It's a wonderful opportunity for front-line practitioners to be a part of research which aims to better our understanding of knowledge and how its disseminated, ultimately feeding back into how effective these transfers are and what we can do to improve them.'
The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete, with the option to take part in a prize draw to win a Kindle. The deadline for responses is 15th of February 2013.
The survey is available at https://www.surveymk.com/s/OSH-Information-use-in-business