OSHwiki, the platform of shared knowledge on occupational safety and health

This post is also available in: Spanish

OSHwikiOSHwiki is the first web platform which allows users to create, collaborate and share knowledge on occupational safety and health (OSH) in all languages. It’s a new way to network online with the OSH community, aiming to support government, industry and employee organisations in ensuring safe and healthy workplaces” [1]

That´s the way how the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) presents this initiative, launched officially last August, during the XX Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Frankfurt.

Based on the Wikipedia concept, OSHwiki aims two main intentions:

  1. to become an updated, widespread and authoritative source of OSH information;
  2. to become a participation and networking platform for OSH professionals.

Both points are interrelated: the contributions by accredited authors -anyone from recognised professional and scientific organisations is eligible- will make possible OSHwiki to be a renowned source, over the time.

The work ahead is more than intense, endless, but the success stories are clear in this field, Wikipedia is an example. In fact, OSHwiki has now published outstanding contents, like this article on nanomaterials.

However, OSHwiki faces an additional challenge: it comes late. How much time is difficult to say, but I dare to say three years at least. The point now is that OSHwiki must compete with a number of well renowned sources of information and the duplication of contents seems inevitable.

In this context, OSHwiki will have to provide a differential added value. This is its great challenge and the main criticism it deserves, in my opinion.

From the point of view of OSH professionals

But despite these challenges, OSHwiki gives the collaborators a good professional recognition, supported by procedures for author´s accreditation and contents´ review.

In addition to the recognition and the possibility to connect with a high profiled network, OSHwiki provides a learning and skills improvement of those participating in the initiative. In this sense, it is similar to run a blog, with the additional merit of the peer reviewed-articles.

So, if you are an OSH professional, OSHwiki may give you some co-benefits as good as unexpected.

Of course, I have already sent my application as an accredited author and hopefully I will see an article of mine someday published.

[1] EUROPEAN AGENCY FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK. 25 aug 2014. OSHwiki goes live – a new web platform to connect the occupational safety and health community. https://osha.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/oshwiki-goes-live-a-new-web-platform-to-connect-the-occupational-safety-and-health-community. Consulted 30 sept 2014.