“Both research and practice needs to be involved in closing the gap between evidence based knowledge and safety practices at work”
7th of September 2021
Course leader presentation: Johnny Dyreborg
Online course: From Research to Practice in Occupational Health and Safety
12th – 14th of October 2021
What is your background?
My background is in organizational sociology and my main research field is intervention research. What really interests me, is what works in improving safety and preventing accidents at work. To this end, I have been project leader for a large international project reviewing the existing literature on what is working in accident prevention.
A specific focus in my later research has been the potentials for companies to improve the safety of their employees, and what evidence based tools they have at their hand to achieve that. Another important question for me is how we can mobilize this evidence based knowledge to reach the relevant intermediaries and users at workplace level.
Why is From Research to Practice in OHS an important and current issue to discuss in 2021?
We must realize that we are facing big challenges reaching workplaces with the right knowledge and in a user-friendly format. As researchers we cannot just leave it up to the end users alone to search and identify the best evidence for preventions. Conversely, we cannot leave it up to the researchers to identify what is the right knowledge for practice? Even if we have useful evidence based best practice, we still need to know how to best transfer and exchange relevant evidence to implement this in a meaningful way at the workplaces.
However, the numbers are against us! How is it possible for a limited number of researchers to reach many workplaces? This is the challenge that we face. We need to develop better ways to reach the workplaces, for example increase collaboration with knowledge brokers, such as health and safety professional, organizations and public institutions. Furthermore, workplaces needs to be better involved in research, if they should have trust in evidence based practice on accident prevention, and be better prepared to uptake this knowledge. For this reason, I believe that research to practice in OHS will not only be an important topic in 2021, but indeed be an important and inevitable topic in the years to come.
What do you want to say to the participants of the course?
Dear participants, whether you are working with OSH in practice, as knowledge brokers, or in public administration, or as a researcher, this course is about exchange of knowledge between research and practice, and how we in the coming years, better can reach out for each other. Both research and practice needs to be involved in closing the gap between evidence based knowledge and safety practices at work. This course will provide you with a common framework and tools that can assist in closing this gap.