Safety and health at work

Launch of Scout Merit Badges on Occupational Safety and Health

The ILO SafeYouth@Work and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines launched scout merit badges to help develop a culture of prevention.

The ILO SafeYouth@Work Project funded by the Unites States Department of Labor, in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), launched a scout merit badges on occupational safety and health. The launch was held on 11 December 2018 on the occasion of the scout organization’s Annual National Scout Executive Conference in Baguio City, Philippines.

Recognizing that OSH vulnerabilities among the youth can be addressed by developing in them a culture a prevention through awareness-raising either in schools, at home or in their communities, the project collaborated with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in developing OSH merit badges which now form part of the Merit Badge System of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP). The BSP comprises of about 2.5 million scout members and 155,617 adult leaders and is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). It operates in 10 regions in the country through its 120 local councils.

In his message during the launch, BSP Secretary General Rogelio S. Villa, Jr. underscored the organization’s commitment to integrate safety and health awareness not just among its members but to the nation’s youth in general. He said that a scout who accomplishes the requirements to earn the OSH merit badges is “drawing the line between safety and danger, health and well-being not just of scouts but those who, as youth find themselves working or joining the workforce to perhaps help the family make both ends meet.”

Through the partnership between the ILO and the BSP, there are now two OSH merit badges which scouts may aim for: the Safety and Health Merit Badge for scouts aged 9 to 12 years old and the Occupational Safety and Health Merit Badge for scouts aged 12 to 16 years old. The scouts will earn these badges by achieving a set of tasks which introduce OSH know-how such as hazards identification and preventive measures. The introduction of OSH in the merit badge system also aims to complement the reforms in the country’s educational system under the K to 12 programme where students in senior high school are introduced to career-oriented tracks and should thus be prepared for the challenges in the world of work, including the occupational risks and hazards they may encounter.

In introducing the OSH Merit Badge as a co-curricular activity, the ILO SafeYouth@Work Project hopes that Filipino students engaged in scouting activities will internalize the value of prevention as preparation for their working life. Scouts which achieve the OSH merit badges will also be encouraged to become occupational safety and health advocates to adults, particularly their parents and in their communities and be models to their peers willing to teach young workers or would-be workers how to be safe and healthy at the workplace.

Funding is provided by the United States Department of Labor  under cooperative agreement number IL-26690-14-75-K-11.

This material does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the United States Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the United States Government. One hundred percentage of the total costs of the project or programme is financed with Federal funds, for a total of 11,443,156 dollars.