1.1. The meaning of healthy and safe working conditions

Every year in the EU more than 5500 people loose their lives as a result of accidents. According to the data of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) 159 000 people die annually due to occupational diseases. EU companies lose about 143 million working days annually due to accidents at work. Estimates vary, but the damage to the EU economy due to such accidents and illnesses amount to at least EUR 490 billion per year. In order to achieve reduction of these data, it is necessary to anticipate risks and to take effective safety measures and systematic further actions, we need a culture and climate of safety. The most important reason for this is not paying enough attention to health and safety working conditions in all stages of human activities, including education.

In order to achieve the required health culture it is of essential meaning the continuous training and education to be achieved, passing through various educational structures: school and university. Pupils and students study there and are educated to acquire skills, habits and qualifications in a safe environment, to be able to require, provide and maintain such in their future realization. In the contemporary conditions of an active renewal of the technical facilities, with the new requirements for them, with intensive and demanding production process, the foregoing is even more important.

Systems for safety and health at work (OSH) are designed to identify and minimize risks in the workplace. The effectiveness of those systems affects the effectiveness of each activity, including the educational one. This impact can be negative when these systems are cumbersome or bureaucratic or can be positive when they are well designed and operating effectively. To have a positive impact, the OHS systems must function smoothly in harmony rather than in conflict with overall management and the process of implementing the objectives and adherence to deadlines. In this connection, it is well to remember that the employers (managers) bear legal and moral obligation to ensure the safety and health of all the employees, and to consult everyone connected to the safety and health at work. Managerial leadership in the field of safety and health can contribute to the achievement of this goal.

„Prevention is better than cure“.Prevention is the cornerstone of the European approach to safety and health at work. Practically this means to analyse the working processes, to identify short- and long-term risks and on this basis to take actions in order to avoid them wherever possible or to reduce them.

1.1.1. The benefits from maintaining a high level of safety and health

Taking actions in the area of safety and health creates opportunities for increasing the efficiency in activities and protecting of each participant in it. Potential benefits include:

  • reducing the costs and risks — lower levels of absences and turnover of employees, a smaller number of accidents, reducing the risk of litigation;
  • ensuring greater business continuity, which increases productivity by avoiding accidents, accidental injuries, interruptions and disruption of processes;
  • increasing the prestige and reputation among the partners.

Health and safety working conditions follow one of the fundamental human rights. The International Labour Organisation protects this right. Its Convention of 1981 requires each country to develop, carry out and periodically update the national policy on the occupational safety, hygiene and production environment that complies with the national terms and practice and be consistent with the representative organizations of workers and employers. The main objective of this policy is the prevention of accidents and injury to health arising in the result of work, during work or related to it activities, whereas to minimize the causes of hazards inherent in the production environment to the extent which is reasonable and practicable.

The activity of creating a safety and health working conditions is more effective as more skilfully combines legal and regulatory requirements in this area, cooperation between the government and the representative organizations of the working structures and workers concerned in them.

In 2010 in relation with health and safetyPatankar and Sabin identify the pyramid concept in dynamic equilibrium – fig.1.1- of the four stages:

1ststage. Habits – the effectiveness of the safety. In history it arises with the study of accidents in the organizational culture of safety and is used in connection with the incident with the airplane of Air Ontario in 1989.

2ndstage. Approaches and ideas – a climate of safety and security on the basis of behaviour and the ideas of the employees. It is usually measured by the survey method.

3rd stage. Safety strategy that includes organizational structures, missions, policies, leadership, procedures and practices.

4thstage. Values of safety, which include the basic values and inexperienced approaches to safety.


1.1.2. The role and importance of the management at creation of safe and healthy working conditions                                      

From studies for the main operational safety management, there is a great need to establish and create a culture of safety. Transforming the workplace into a cosy and favourable place for work acts positively for building up this culture. In achieving this objective this must be spread and adopted by all the members of the organization, acc.[29], in the present case – from pupils and lecturers.

As time goes on from the standpoint of the economic and technological development due to rapid change in industrialization, health and safety at work are often neglected and those gaps lead to risks that reach enormous values. This stems from the fact that before some time the production was to the foreground and particular attention to the health of the worker has not been paid. Since the production is directly related to human health and jeopardizing the effectiveness of production, attention to the health and safety of people started to be paid more. The production very much depends on the physical condition of a person and the better the safety at workplace is organized the more is the increasing of the production [45]. With a full force, the foregoing is true for the education at school and university, where the increased volume, strenuous activity and deteriorated climate at the workplace create risky situations.


Importance from the point of view of the employer

Every employer is obliged to ensure healthy and safe working conditions. Aside from the legal point of view, the employer must look from a human perspective of employees and to improve the conditions in workplaces. Thus, favourable conditions of work are provided and the efficiency and effectiveness will be raised. With the raising of the effectiveness a situation that reduces the cost of the employer is created [38].

Importance from the point of view of the employee

In accidents and injuries, the employee faces a loss

of physical strength and this in turn results in loss of working time. This loss leads to a loss of a part or the whole remuneration. The fact is that most employees do not earn extra incomes and the loss of a part of the income leads to more difficult situations on the status of the whole family.

Importance from a social perspective

Since workers are a part of the society and the workforce of the society, in unhealthy and dangerous working conditions they are smitten down physically and mentally and are not useful to society.

Importance from an economic perspective

Nowadays, many workers are injured, mutilated or died as a result of risks in the workplace. From an economic viewpoint ignoring, the OHS leads to a decline in economic and social development of a country [32].


1.1.3. Perception of safety.Meaning of the term “safety” is generally perceived as “being in security”. This is the style of management of OHS in an organization that defines the competence and commitment in this area, as a person or group of values, attitudes, orientations, perceptions, competencies and patterns of behaviour acc. [68].

1.1.4. Healthy and safe working conditions concept.

In the entire world and in our country too there is a concept of health and safety working conditions.

“Occupational health conditions” and “safety at work” are defined in some literature references as a general concept, although each of them has a separate concept.

Occupational health conditions are the cases in which a worker has minimized or eliminated the risk that can arise and may hamper his routine operation.

The safety at work comes down to the concept that the risk hazards during the operation should be removed and all the technical regulations and norms that are provided to be observed.

Safety is the state of protection of the vital interests of a person, organization, enterprise, society from potential or existing threats. Usually ensuring safety is expressed in observing a set of rules to prevent accidents and rescue peoples’life.

Warning signs, creating of standards and procedures, offering insurance and guarantees significantly improve safety.


1.1.5. Healthy and safe working conditions

One of the biggest problems of our society is dying of thousands and injuring tens of thousands people due to accidents. The most important reason for this situation is not paying enough attention to health and safety at work, lack of control, seeing the capital as a fundamental value and the desire for profit.

In addition to the stated in p.1.1 of EU, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) in a global scale every year nearly 2,200,000 lose their lives due to occupational accidents and diseases. Again, according to these statistics of ILO every day nearly 6000 people lose their lives due to occupational accidents and diseases. Every year 270.000.000 occupational accidents happen and 160,000,000 people get sick from occupational diseases. Every year 438,000, meet their death by intoxication with chemicals in the enterprises.

The basic objective of OHS is ensuring the proper workplace environment. Legal obligations apply and improve acc. to [49, 50, and 51]

For example, students in vocational schools who train in different laboratories and workshops use, according to their profile, machines and equipment of different physical and chemical nature. Their work creates a number of risk factors for the safety. On table 1.1 the factors that threaten health are presented: human factors, environmental factors and technical factors.



Factors that threaten health
Human factors Threat to the environment Technical factors











*Gases unfavourable for the micro-organisms

*Exposure to intoxicants and narcotics

*Omission of the periodic controls of the machines

*Overloading the capacity

*Breakdowns in technique

*Non-use of PPE

*Incorrect assembly of the machines

*Non-ergonomic working conditions


Risk can be defined as manifesting connection between the probability of a hazard and the results obtained subsequently acc. [60].

1.2. Safety climate and culture. Basic concepts

Historical aspects of safety culture

Building a safety culture dates back to 1940. Moreover, after that, more attention began to be paid to the occupational accidents that are caused by the machines and they start to be controlled and repaired. In 1980, a study was made on the ergonomics and design of the machines.  The method connected to it is an efficient and effective method and by using it, when implemented the rate of accidents has been decreased [25].

Due to the catastrophic consequences of nuclear power, oil industry and other factors the culture of safety has appeared:

  • 1986 The nuclear power station in Chernobyl
  • The crash of the shuttle of the Mexican astronauts in 2003
  • And the latest environmental disaster, spillages of oil in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

International group on Nuclear Safety first used the term “culture of safe behaviour” in 1986 in a summary report after the Chernobyl disaster. In its report, the culture of safe behaviour is described as a set of characteristics and dispositions of the organizations and individuals to safely conduct. The concept was introduced as a means of explaining how the lack of knowledge and understanding of risk and safe behaviour among employees of the Chernobyl nuclear power station has contributed to the catastrophic consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.

1.2.1. The status of the problem

Humankind has always sought to maintain safety with different approaches: massive constructions, castles, military weapons and other technologies. Over the time and advancement of technology and science, the sense of safety has created complicated structure.

With increasing competitiveness and reducing costs many technological machines entered the business world and they in turn inevitably endanger human health and safety. According to a research of the social services in our country (Turkey) every 7 minutes an accident at work occurs, and every 10.8 hours a person loses his life and every 5.5 hours he loses for permanent his working capacity due to an accident at work. To prevent these injuries the most important factor that should be taken into consideration is the safety culture.


1.2.2. Safety culture.

Safety culture is the identification of the possible threats and risks to a particular person or institution in a realistic basis and taking precautions concerning these risks and threats in order to prevent them [10]. According to [56], a safety culture is the way we manage safety in the workplace, and often reflects “the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and values that employees share in relation to safety”.

Founding a culture of safety is determined by the creation of traditional culture and its values. Cultural systems, on the one hand, are the current behaviour of the person and on the other hand are his future conduct. The concept of safety in the most basic terms is defined as a state of being safe acc. [45, 46.] Safety culture is manifested in: *A feeling of risk before it happens.*Knowledge about risks before or during operation.*Behaviour of positioning not close to the sources of the risk.*Not taking unnecessary risks.

Safety culture has many elements that are effective for people at all levels and for the entire organization as a whole. The International Atomic Energy, acc. [34], gives these elements in the following manner:

* Individual awareness – it reveals the importance of safety.

*Knowledge and competence – it is achieved through training courses and specializations and learning.

*Compliance – plays an important role in building a culture of safety

*Motivation – this is achieved through remunerations.

*Supervision and control – refers to revise the practical works and

control of safety.

Safety culture has 2 points of view:

  1. Perception the culture from the organizational and management perspective.

2.Interest and behaviour of the persons responsible for the organization.

According to [90], in the organizations with positive safety culture the processes, attitudes and perceptions are presented in the following way:

* Commitment of management to safety.

* Safety has priority over production.

* Safety has priority over production.

* Status of safety measures.

* Effective and appropriate rules and procedures.

* Low risk-taking behaviour level.

* Sharing of the relative perception of risk.

* Effective organizational training.

Safety culture in Turkey and its typological place

To prevent deaths caused by accidents in Turkey, a number of measures have been, both administrative and economic, taken by law. Cultural and social factors also have an important role. In Turkey, as in many eastern societies, people have problems with acceptance of the reality of risk and its perception [55].


1.2.3. Safety climate.

The climate of safety below the climate system of the organization and is determined by their overall working environment in the workplace. The climate of safety is determined by two main factors [33]:

– Engagement of the leading factors to safety

– Workers participation in the safety process and procedures.

The development of a safety climate is determined by four main phases – Table 1.2.

Table 1.2.

First phase Second phase Third phase Fourth phase
Includes research related to determining the size and improving the safety climate scale. Includes actions to develop and test a theoretical model exploring the relationship between safety behaviour, safety climate and accidents occurred. Includes studies on the relationship between perceptions of safety climate and the actual level of safety. Includes activities to determine the relationship the between safety climate and the organizational climate.


The concepts associated with safety climate are: culture, culture in organizations, climate in organizations and others. People who are part of an organization perceive the climate of the organization.

Differences between the concepts of “safety culture” and “safety climate.”

The conducted literary analysis reveal that in most cases, these two terms are considered as separate. In daily work in a given area or department, the safety culture in the workplace lies in the procedures and instructions which are considered fundamental values ​​and norms in their style of management. Concerning the climate of safety, according to (James 1980), this is associated with behavioural norms of the organization, showing what is generally accepted and the way of work in a particular area.


1.2.4. Study approach. Safety climate scale

The research can use the abbreviated version of the scale for measuring the climate of safety that was developed acc. [30] as well as that of Choudhry, Fang (& Lingard, 2009). The later uses a multi-scale pattern (5 scales), including the original (English) and confirmation of its identity, translated from English into Turkish. The survey, conducted for data collection, consists of:

  1. A form, defining the goal of the research work.
  2. A form, describing the characteristics of the working environment, for which the healthy and safe conditions of work are examined.
  3. A form with selected questions related to safety climate.

1.3. Safety environment of workplaces in schools and universities.

Relationship between the atmosphere and the success of the students in the educational sector

Since the creation of the humankind, the human has always tried to educate and learn. He always strived to give the best training in the corresponding period of history. The quality of education is an important aspect for all members of the society. For example, children and young people are most of the day in school and spend more time there than at home. The atmosphere changes from school to school and this concerns all young people. The atmosphere and the behaviour of all members of a school determine the difference between schools. In addition, based on that, the atmosphere is determined in the context of human relations at school. The school atmosphere is an organizational function concerning teachers, students, administrators and parents. The school has a definite influence on the behaviour of the student. In this connection, the educational environment has a direct effect on the performance of the student. The schools are responsible for the behavioural, emotional and academic growth of the student, acc. [38,42,56.88].

1.3.2. Safety in schools and school settings

Providing a better learning environment at school begins with providing physical and psychological safety and security that lead to physical and emotional well-being of the students. However, in the recent past, many schools confronted a number of problems that have compromised them in respect to creating a safe and secure school environment.

Besides a comprehensive analysis of the new risks and security, threats occurring at school we also have to define the various factors limiting those threats to a minimum. One of the main principles for success in the education sector in our country is the safety of the school environment.

From the studies conducted in our country, i.e. in the schools in Istanbul, it is understood that physical violence between pupils is quite common; 50% of students have participated in physical violence. Another study reveals that such behaviour of students is also due to faults of the teachers and managers, acc. [17]

To improve the safety and health factors in and around schools, a study has been conducted, which:

– reviewed the factors that determine psycho-social environment in school, and external factors – such as physical security;

– contained an analysis of violence, use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances that threaten the health and safety in schools;

– analysed the amount and degree of violence;

– analysed violence in schools and are gave suggestions on how this violence can be stopped;

– considered the model of the communicative approach, which is to stop

violence in schools, acc. [66].


The condition and operation of the system for safety and health at work is identified in a pyramidal form, at dynamic equilibrium stages:  habits – efficiency – a climate of safety (ideas and approaches) organizational mission (leadership, strategies, rules) core values ​​of safety.

In connection with the operation of the system for safety and health at work, the climate and culture of safety are presented: the possible threats and risks in the real basis and beliefs, perceptions and values ​​that employees share in relation to safety.

Organizational and managerial point of view of safety culture are presented. The concepts of safety climate are examined. The safety culture in the workplace concluded in the procedures and instructions and safety climate, related to the behavioural norms of the organization are distinguished.

The importance of health and safety at work from the point of view of the organization as well as from social and economic point of view are revealed.

The safe environment at the workplaces in schools for the students and for the academic staff in universities are analysed.

In connection with the above, we can make the following conclusions:

  1. The nature and role of safety culture using the principles for ensuring health and safety is nor revealed, which does not reveal and broaden with new facts its meaning. These is no analysis to confirm and broaden the knowledge of the nature of the basic concepts that reveal the working conditions leading to accidents and the factors for their elimination.
  2. 2. There is no methodological base for safety and health at work, built on the basis of the nature and characteristics of risk. Based on comparative analysis of risk assessment and management systems, a methodology with a rating scale shell be proposed.
  3. The already known is insufficiently analysed to offer methodological basis for determining requirements, capable of providing safety education, training and work in the school, which can be presented as normative.
  4. – There are no sufficient analysis of the methodological foundations for building health and safety conditions at the university to clarify broadly the nature, content and characteristics of health education, health training, health culture and the risk factors for personal health and a healthy lifestyle.
  5. There are no characteristics for safety in schools and universities, determined by surveys of studying and working there: students, teachers and employees.

The objective: To analyse the activities in a healthy and safe working environment in schools and universities.

In this regard, the thesis undertakes to resolve problems relating to the disclosure of theoretical and methodological foundations of health and safety at work.

To achieve this objective it is necessary to solve the following tasks:

  1. To reveal the nature and role of safety culture for the presented principles for ensuring safety and health. To present methodological guidance for health and safety management system and by analysing it to reveal its nature and effects. To propose a model of “health and safety work.”
  2. 2. To perform an analysis to confirm and to expand the knowledge of the nature of the basic concepts relating to health and safety at work. To reveal the working conditions leading to accidents and factors for their elimination. To propose methodological basis for determining requirements, presented in the form of rules, and to analyse their key elements, providing safety conditions for education, training and work in the school;
  3. Based on the nature and characteristics of risk and based on a comparative assessment to develop a methodological basis for measuring safety and health at work. To propose a methodology for quantitative risk assessment and methodology for its management.
  4. To analysing the methodological foundations for building healthy and safe conditions at the university to clarify the nature, content and characteristics of health education, health training, health culture and the risk factors for personal health and a healthy lifestyle.
  5. To analyse the results of surveys and after summarising them to form guidelines for improving the conditions of workplace safety in schools and universities.