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Bazas T.,Committee of Health and Welfare | Krikella A.,Municipality of Ilioupolis | Zorba K.,Hellenic Institute for Occupational Health and Safety | Kapsali K.,Hellenic Institute for Occupational Health and Safety
Journal of Occupational Health | Year: 2013

Photo Competition as a Tool for Providing Occupational Health Education to General Secondary School Students: Theodore BAZAS, et al. Committee of Health and Welfare, Municipality of Philothei-Psychiko, Athens, Greece-Objectives: Education on occupational health and safety (OHS) is not a compulsory part of the curriculum of general secondary schools (GSSs) in many countries. Adolescence is a formative period. Mainstreaming education in OHS into GSSs is necessary in order to initiate in students a risk prevention culture. We explored the feasibility of using a photo competition (PC) concerning health protection at work as a health education tool by assessing the degrees of relevant responses of students aged 13-18, teachers, parents and private enterprises and by identifying the types of work and hazards selected in 17 state and non-state GSSs of a Greek municipality. Methods: Following the mayor's decision to hold a PC, prizes were secured from 11 private donors, the PC was publicized widely, and presentations on OHS were delivered to students by an occupational physician and suitably instructed teachers; the students then took photos of identifiable work situations containing OHS hazards, with protection either present or absent. Photos were assessed by juries of the Municipality and of the European Centre for the Environment and Health of the WHO. Results: The 87 photos submitted revealed that students had an understanding of 15 types of OHS hazards, mainly knocks and blows (28.7%) and falls from heights (26.4%) but also of diseases (respiratory, back pain, hearing loss), in 28 types of non-school work, mostly in transport (12.6%) and construction (9.1%), and recognized measures for protection in 50.5% of photos. Conclusions: This PC concerning OHS in GSSs is the first reported in the literature, and it proved to be a feasible, extracurricular educational activity that requires increased teacher collaborationwithin the school curriculum.


Papadopoulos G.,Committee for Safety and Health at Work | Georgiadou P.,Hellenic Institute for Occupational Health and Safety | Papazoglou C.,Hellenic Association of Occupational Medicine and Environment
Safety Science | Year: 2010

During recent years the work environment has undergone significant changes regarding working time, years of employment, work organization, type of employment contracts and working conditions. In this paper, consequences of these changes on occupational and public health and safety are examined. These include the disruption of human biological rhythms, the increase of workers fatigue due to changes in patterns of working hours and years of employment, job insecurity and occupational stress, which have a serious impact on workers' health and may result in an increase in occupational accidents. Unsafe work practices related to workload and time pressure, the impact of work changes on public safety and the deterioration of workers' living conditions with respect to income, social-family life, health and insurance benefits, are also described. In this context, difficulties that occur due to the changing work environment in conducting effective occupational risk assessments and implementing OSH measures are discussed (for example, frequent changes between tasks and workplaces, underreporting of occupational accidents and diseases, lack of methodological tools, etc.). A fundamental criterion used while studying consequences on health and safety and the relative preventive measures is that health and safety must be approached as 'the promotion and maintenance at the highest degree of the physical, mental and social well-being of workers' and not only as retention of their work ability. Limits in combining " flexibility" at work and overall protection of occupational and public safety and health in a competitive market are put forward for discussion. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.


Koukoulaki T.,Hellenic Institute for Occupational Health and Safety
Safety Science | Year: 2010

Europe has been subject to tremendous changes in terms of flexibility of work and labour in response to macro trends like globalisation and the resulting fierce market competition. Such changes in the world of work can give rise to new safety risks. Although the effects of " changing work environment" are fairly documented for psychosocial and ergonomic risks, the subsequent effects on occupational safety are less investigated. This paper sets a general framework on changing work environment presenting prominent descriptions by various institutes.New trends in work environment including new work organisational forms, new contractual relationships, new technologies and changes in the workforce are briefly presented. This paper reviews existing evidence on the effects of changing work environment on safety and occupational accidents. It further suggests an underlying mechanism explaining these effects that is based on organizational factors. Finally it discusses safety prevention challenges to policy makers. In conclusion a sustainable work system is suggested as an alternative to intensive systems. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

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