8th Training & Innovation
Intercultural Dialogue in Work and Health
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8th Training & Innovation: Intercultural Competence and its Integration into Occupational Safety and Health

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“Could you please tell me about your first experience with a foreign culture?" the Spanish OSH expert Oscar Llave Vargas asked his Romanian colleague Eugenia Bratu. “What was your most outstanding positive experience in relation to different cultures at your workplace or in your working life?”

On July 3, 2008 the participants of the 8th Training & Innovation conference started their appreciative inquiries on intercultural experiences. The accounts were then analysed by the participants for key factors for successful, intercultural dialogue.

This open-minded beginning was typical of the entire conference and supported the participants in their efforts to contact and communicate with each other. The objective was to gain an overview of the present state of the intercultural nature of their work and to make statutory accident insurance institutions sensitive to that issue.

As a start, we heard four keynoters on current trends in Europe and in Germany: Xabier Irastorza from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Petra Köppel from the Bertelsmann Foundation, Wolfgang Schulz-Weidner from the Permanent Delegation of the German Social Insurance System to the European Union in Brussels as well as Dorothea Grieger from the task force of the German Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration (ATZ).

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On the basis of such up-to-date information conference participants developed their own visions for the year 2050. Just to quote a few: “In 2050 there will no longer be the European Union we know" (on migration policies), "Win-win-situations between different cultures are perfectly normal“ (on globalisation), “Intercultural competence is part of our primary socialisation“ (on intercultural competence), “There are international safety standards“ (on migration-safety-health).

A special highlight was offered on the second day by way of the keynote by Dagmar Domenig, Red Cross Switzerland, who spoke about their approach of transcultural competence giving their example of long-term care in hospitals. John Nevitt, IOSH, UK, analysed the consequences of a multicultural workforce for occupational safety and health and presented a number of good practice examples.
Simo Salminen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health FIOH, scrutinised self-defensive attributions for the causes of workplace accidents related to specific cultures. At last Anno Kluß, context, provided information on a training approach for multipliers using sports activities for the purpose of integration.

| Bild: | In addition, the 8th Training & Innovation conference provided a broad range of 11 workshops where participants discussed issues on the basis of central questions. The workshops’ results were presented and discussed during a vernissage.

Several poster presentations were carried out throughout the event.
Click on one of the preview pictures to download these posters:
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Poster by Ralph Hensel, University of Chemnitz:"The influence of intercultural differences on change management in transnational corporations" PDF file 164 KBPoster by Christian Hannig, Hamburg:"Diploma thesis: Encounters of culturally diverse persons in medical emergency situations" PDF file 1,2 MBPoster "Growing up healthy" PDF file 1,5 MB

A recommendation for the future integration of the intercultural dimension into the practical work of the statutory accident insurance institutions is developed on the basis of the conference findings. This recommendation will soon be published on this website.

Click here for a small picture gallery of the 8th T & I

On the next page, the presentations and scripts of the participants can be downloaded.
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