The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has reopened its research fund as it seeks to better understand the scope, reach and effectiveness of health and safety provision around the world.
It is calling for research proposals which explore and influence the adoption of occupational safety and health (OSH) as a universal, basic or fundamental right at work.
It comes after the International Labour Organization (ILO) formally adopted a safe and healthy work environment as a fundamental principle and right at work earlier this year.
The current situation
Despite this move, it is estimated that four in five of the world’s working population don’t have access to basic OSH services. And where the services are available, the quality in how they are delivered varies.
It is also reported that there are disparities in the standards of OSH between high income countries (HIC) and low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). The level of service delivery is often based on legislation and regulation, as well as individual companies’ maturity, size and location.
IOSH believes that these factors, together with the call to provide workers with universal occupational healthcare, the need to develop socially sustainable businesses and the reported global shortage of OSH professionals (especially occupational health professionals), means that a creative approach is required to at least ensure a basic OSH service delivery at the worker level.
The need for research
IOSH is committing funding to research so it can understand the influence of country economic status, national policy, laws and regulations, organisation size, models of work and occupational sectors on the standards of OSH delivery.
It hopes to use the knowledge gained to seek improvements and promote access to OSH services around the world.
Nicole Rinaldi, Director of Professional Services at IOSH, said: “All workers around the world should have access to a good standard of OSH delivery. However, we know this is not the case currently and that those who have such access are in the minority.
“This is unacceptable and something we have to change. By reopening our research funding and calling for proposals in this area we can seek to better understand what the facilitators are for good OSH but also, crucially, what the barriers are.
“With this knowledge, we hope to make significant strides toward ensuring all workers can return home every day safe and healthy.”
The call for proposals
IOSH says it will consider proposals which are for diverse and inclusive research, has a global reach, and includes a focus on HICs and LMICs. The deadline for applications is 23:59 (GMT) on Monday 28 November.
For more information, visit iosh.com/osh-research22