2004 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 196-206
The participatory, action-oriented training program in occupational safety and health named POSITIVE (Participation-Oriented Safety Improvements by Trade Union InitiatiVE) was established in Pakistan and extended to other countries in Asia. The steps taken in the development of the POSITIVE program included collecting local good examples in safety and health, developing an action-checklist, testing a participatory training program, and conducting follow-up activities to examine local achievements. Training manuals were compiled to provide workers with the practical, easy-to-understand information on safety and health improvements and on the positive roles of trade unions. Trade union trainers trained in the methodology conducted serial POSITIVE training workshops in Pakistan and then in Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines and Thailand and recently in China. These workshops resulted in many low-cost improvements at the workplace level. These improvements were carried out in the technical areas of materials handling, workstations, machine safety, physical environment, and welfare facilities. The trade union networks have been vital in reaching an increasing number of grass-root workplaces and in expanding the program to other countries. This included the visits to Mongolia and Thailand of Pakistani trade union trainers to demonstrate the POSITIVE training. The participatory training tools used in the POSITIVE program such as the action checklist and group discussion methods were commonly applied in different local situations. Participatory approaches adopted in the POSITIVE program have proven useful for providing practical problem-solving measures based on the local trade union initiative.