What is OSH literacy?
Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is an essential life-skill literacy that can be described as: The degree to which individuals have the functional capacity to find and apply the OSH information and services needed to eliminate or reduce risk.*
OSH literacy is an umbrella term which covers a range of safety and health related subjects: fire, electrical, chemicals, health, traffic etc., which all use an internationally standardized literacy system composed of signs, signals, symbols and jargon to communicate information designed to keep us safe, examples can be found, ‘wherever there are people, (ISO)‘*
Why is OSH literacy important?
Consider the benefits of OSH literacy prior to and during the Covid-19. UNESCO and other bodies are urgently seeking solutions to ‘fill the gap.’
June 20th, 2023: The International Standards Organization (ISO) published its Plain Language Guidelines, 24495, which we have been campaigning for many years. The Guidelines apply across ‘all languages and industries’ as does OSH. The ISO Plain Language Guidelines, 24495, are final proof positive that OSH is a literacy that can be taught and measured from entry-level to advanced.
June 2023: Wikipedia published a page on OSH literacy: Occupational Safety and Health Literacy – Wikipedia
June 06th, 2022: The International Labor Organisation (ILO) amended its Four (4) Fundamental Rights at Work to include OSH, now the fifth (5th).
September 2022: IOSH Official Educational Policy Statement: there’s a need for OSH education to be expanded to build OSH professional competence and capability. This should also include the improvement of basic OSH literacy training as a strong foundation for life-long learning.
OSH literacy is also the name of our small, non-profit educational and advocacy organization. We are a dad and daughter duo from Ireland who are 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 the world’s only NGO specifically focused on this area. OSH literacy is voluntary and run on a part-time basis (About Us). However, we are very active on a number of fronts and work closely with other national and international NGOs, OSH, educational and private organizations to achieve our goal to make OSH information and training Accessible to All.