The WhSA Group

On 7 November 2012 a working group for the international dissemination of the Whole School Approach (WhSA) was established on the occasion of the workshop “Mainstreaming OSH into education: Towards a culture of prevention”, jointly organized by ENETOSH, EU-OSHA, ILO, ISSA, and NIOSH. The workshop took place on 6-8 November 2012 at the ILO Training Centre Turin, Italy.

Aim of the group
  • To improve the quality of education and educational establishments by the means of health and safety
  • To mainstream the whole-school approach internationally
  • To consolidate the already existing material concerning Mainstreaming OSH into education
  • To improve the link between Good practice and Research within the field
  • To support countries during their process of the integration of OSH into education according to their needs

The Whole School Approach: The Good Healthy School
Presentation by Prof. Dr. Peter Paulus (Leuphana University Lueneburg)
and Dr. Heinz Hundeloh (DGUV)

What is the whole-school approach?

The whole school-approach is basically a “holistic approach”.

Two different perspectives
There are two different perspectives concerning this approach: Firstly, the whole school approach is a management approach which encompasses the whole educational establishment: learning content, the learning and work environments, school management, advanced teacher training, the students, the parents and the entire community. Secondly the whole-school approach stands for a paradigm shift: It’s no longer just about education promoting safety and health but rather safety and health as a means of promoting quality in education.

Paradigm shift
When taken from the second perspective, safety and health has the opportunity to become part of the core business of an educational establishment or put more simply: “If you feel better, you learn better” (Peter Paulus).
The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) has developed a concept for integrating safety and health into education which has gained worldwide recognition. The name of this concept is “Good Healthy Schools”. According to this concept, developing a culture of prevention contributes to the quality of an educational institute (a school, a university). As such, health and safety is seen as a tool that “serves” the school and not the other way round (Heinz Hundeloh).
However, a core requirement for the success of this approach is for OSH experts to become passionate about the pedagogical aspect.

For an article describing the whole-school approach in the OSH WIKI please click here.

Members of the WhSA group:
Name Dr Ulrike Bollmann
Institution Institute for Work and Health (IAG) of the
German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV)
Tel +49 352 45 71510
Address Institute for Work and Health of the DGUV (IAG) Koenigsbruecker Landstr. 2
01109 Dresden
Name Sue Boychuk (retd)
Institution Ministry of Labour Ontario
Tel +1 416 212 3206
Address 400 University Avenue,
12th floor
M7A1T7 Toronto
Name Jutta Busch
Name Lester Claravall
Institution Oklahoma Department of Labor
Tel +1 405-521-6591
Address 3017 North Stiles,
Suite 100
73105 Oklahoma City
United States of America
Name Sharon Rosly Ann Patterson
Name Wah-shing Tang
Institution Occupational Safety and Health Council Hong Kong
Tel 852 2116 5663
Address 19/F China United Centre
28 Marble Road
North Point
Associated experts:
Name Prof Dr Peter Paulus
Institution Leuphana University Lueneburg
Tel +49 41316771702
Address Scharnhorststr. 1
21335 Lüneburg
Name Dr Heinz Hundeloh