Occupational Knowledge International (OK International) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health through innovative strategies to reduce exposures to industrial pollutants. They seek to address inequities in environmental standards between developed and developing countries by working in partnership with industry, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Occupational Knowledge International (OK International) works to build capacity in developing countries to identify, monitor, and mitigate environmental and occupational exposures to hazardous materials in order to protect public health and the environment. The organization provides technical assistance through partnerships, training, and environmental audit and certification programs, with a commitment to public health
tenets, scientific principles and corporate responsibility.
Description of Activities
The following is a brief description of their program areas:
They believe that new opportunities are emerging to further cooperation between businesses and nonprofit organizations in improving environmental programs at industrial facilities in developing countries. To exploit these opportunities, They have initiated an environmental certification program for lead battery manufacturing.
OK International works with lead battery companies to improve their operations. They offer technical evaluations of company operations and work with them to adopt measures to minimize exposures to employees and the environment. They then document those improvements and gain recognition for these companies’ efforts among consumers and the environmental community. As an incentive, they offer a product certification program to facilities that meet specific environmental performance goals.
Technical Assistance/ Grantmaking
The goal of the technical assistance and grantmaking program is to facilitate exchange of information, monitoring and testing capabilities, environmental regulatory structures, standards, and enforcement capacity to countries with developing environmental programs and institutions. They work in partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government and communities to conduct public health investigations and environmental cleanup projects. These activities are conducted by OK International staff and outside “peer” resources from government, the private sector, and other NGOs.
The purpose of their environmental education program is to further the knowledge of environmental health, hazardous materials in the workplace and the environment, and waste minimization. Their courses are typically custom designed for the intended audience and cover such topics as air sampling, respiratory protection, and environmental testing methods.
Exchange of Technology and Access to Technology
The purpose of the technology exchange program is to facilitate the exchange of environmental technology to countries with developing environmental programs and limited resources. The following activities are conducted by the their staff:
-Seek donations from companies offering equipment, laboratory services or consulting services to governmental agencies, legislators and NGOs with limited resources to establish environmental programs.
-Seek and distribute funding resources for environmental work abroad by working as liaison to foreign environmental NGOs and U.S. based companies and funders.
Dissemination of Information
The dissemination of information regarding innovative environmental legislation, enforcement mechanisms and new research on hazardous materials is intended to improve access to information to end users in government, NGOs and the private sector. By facilitating the transfer of this information, OK International also generates additional interest in their core program offerings.
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