The Ohara Memorial Institute for Science of Labour
The Ohara Memorial Institute for
Science of Labour

International Cooperation

International research collaboration is developing in the form of fellowship training and joint research. Counterpart institutions include Mahidol University and occupational health centres in Thailand, National University of Malaysia, Cantho Province in Vietnam, Beijing Occupational Health Institute in China, Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Philippines and others. Joint research projects are aimed at practical health risk assessment and action training for ergonomic workplace improvements.

As part of its training programmes, the Institute has accepted fellowship trainees especially from developing countries in Asia. The Institute plans to increase its facilities for advanced training. The Institute also participated in international projects by the International Labour Office and other international organizations on environmental assessment, occupational health services for small enterprises, participatory training using the Work Improvement in Small Enterprise (WISE) methodology, development of Ergonomic Checkpoints and others. The Institute members have been active in Asian regional organizations on occupational health and ergonomics. It is worth noting that the First Asian Conference on Occupational Health was organized in Japan in 1956 under the initiative of the late Dr. G. Teruoka, ex-Director of the Institute.

Dr. Kazutaka Kogi, Research Adviser of the Institute for Science of Labour in Kawasaki and currently President of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), has been active in occupational health and ergonomics at international level. He was born on 26 February 1933. After graduating from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine in 1957, he conducted applied research at this institute until 1983 when he joined the International Labour Office as Regional Adviser for Asia and the Pacific, stationed in Bangkok. During 1988-1993, he worked at the ILO headquarters in Geneva as Chief of the Occupational Safety and Health Branch and Director of the Working Conditions and Environment Department. He then served as Director of the Institute for Science of Labour during 1993-1999. He was Chairman of the ICOH Scientific Committee on Shiftwork during 1989-1996. He was Treasurer of the International Ergonomics Association during 1997-2003. He served as ICOH Board Member during 2000-2006, vice-president during 2006-2009. His major areas of interest are workload and fatigue assessment and practical improvement of workplace conditions including participatory ergonomics. Working in technical cooperation projects for developing countries, he developed training packages for work improvements in small enterprises and in agriculture. He is particularly interested in the application of participatory and cost-effective occupational health approaches including low-cost solutions.