OSH literacy can be described as: The degree to which individuals have the capacity to access, process and utilize the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) information and services needed to make appropriate decisions regarding safety and health at work. More broadly, it is the ability to identify potential hazards, assess risk and take measures to reduce or eliminate risk.
OSH uses a unique system of different shapes, colours, thousands of symbols and specialized terminology to communicate information. This communication system constitutes a literacy in its own right comparable to any other form of literacy. In this Age-of-Information and the global-workplace, the acquisition of OSH literacy skills is essential to an individual’s long-term health and wellbeing, as well as their social and economic mobility. However, for a number of reasons, not everyone has these skills, yet.
OSH literacy® is also the name of our small, registered and fully-compliant, non-profit social-enterprise. We are a collective of volunteer teachers, trainers, health-care workers and OSH professionals committed to making a tangible reduction in the unacceptably high numbers of deaths, diseases, injuries and losses which occur globally due to poor OSH communications, especially for at-risk groups. We are funded through donations and offering training and consultancy services. ALL profits fund our outreach projects. Our aim is to have OSH literacy recognized and taught as an essential life-skill literacy. We are the world’s only NGO specifically focused on improving OSH communications and training. OSH literacy is active on a number of fronts and works closely with other national and international NGOs, OSH, educational and private organisations to achieve our goal – to make OSH information and training Accessible to All.