OSH Knowledge and its Management

19.10.2016

Commissioned by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), research teams conducted six studies to shed new light on modern-day worker protection at a time when health and safety has been lambasted in sections of the media and become the subject of reviews into its regulatory frameworks.

The findings of IOSH's five year programme - Health and Safety in a Changing World - give fresh insight into the role safety and health is now playing in a world of transient or disparate workforces, automated production and economic and political uncertainty.

The IOM’s contribution to the research programme was a research study examining OSH knowledge from its creation to end use.  The IOM research team worked with Heriot Watt University to examine knowledge transfer and knowledge management and how it can be applied in the context of safety and health as well as trying to understand the current OSH landscape in the UK and who is providing OSH knowledge, which OSH knowledge sources are preferred and through 12 case studies, what happens in practice. Some of the main findings are presented below.

  • There are numerous sources of OSH information available in the UK but those used most frequently were government sources and professional sources (HSE, NHS, and IOSH) and this was due to them being trusted, easy to access and free to access.
  • When transferring OSH knowledge to non-specialists, skills such as being able to identify and source authoritative knowledge on particular hazards or risks are essential as well as the ability to translate that knowledge to the local context including language, literacy levels and to evaluate readiness for change.
  • Experienced practitioners in OSH appreciate the importance of planning any OSH intervention as well understanding the importance of using face-to-face communication for complex messages or to those less experienced in the workplace or using other means such as electronic communication for disperse workforces.
  • The importance of using existing information networks (either face-to-face contact or virtual) to intervene or to re-assess risks after intervention were also identified as significant in this research.

 

The research report is available at http://www.iosh.co.uk/Books-and-resources/Health-and-safety-in-a-changing-world/OSH-knowledge-and-its-management.aspx

Access to all the research reports published from the research programme are available at http://www.iosh.co.uk/Books-and-resources/Health-and-safety-in-a-changing-world.aspx

For further information about the research project please contact

Dr Joanne Crawford

Tel 0131 449 8037

Email joanne.crawford@iom-world.org

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