‘Working Environment’ Periodical

The periodical, “Working Environment”, is a mean of mass communication that freely reflects Fisek Institute’s activities, standpoint and horizon. At the same time, it gives thinkers having similar interests an opportunity to present their ideas, and us to support them. Thus, the periodical is transformed into a platform through which the dreams and ideas are shared.

It is an International Labour Organisation (ILO) project. Having been supported by ILO for its first 6 issues, the periodical has achieved its sustainability by creating its own resources. “Working Environment” periodical, like any other work of Fisek Institute, is the reflection of the institute’s fastidious, genuine and systematic studies; and it has an important place for the institute’s list of “Honorary Activities”.

Besides, Working Environment has been a reference point for the new and future Fisek Projects.

Labour health is the answer to the need arising from miscommunications between workers in the occupational safety field. Nevertheless, it has always been the readers’ participation determining the periodical’s direction; it has also been encouraged. On that ground, it is an important fact that the reader seminars began concomitant with the fifth issue of the periodical.

Since 1992, the topics treated under the section “Büyüteç” (Magnifier) have been a source of reference for many investigations and researches.
In the first years, the topics on occupational health and safety and the solutions to the general health problems were covered mostly. By the canalisation of both readers and the “environment”, the periodical directed its way towards investigating more concrete matters and towards the idea that the source of the problems lies in the matters such as social sensibility, organisation of the community and the struggle for individuality. As the years passed, Working Environment concerned itself with more concrete and direct interference methods.

Working Environment periodical approaches the subjects in a multi-disciplinary way. This was expressed in the 21st issue, and many of the articles in other issues were written in this sense.

Setting out from the fact that any working environment is indeed a part of life and it is a human product, the periodical has focused its concern on “human beings” and “society”.

Also, it has especially encouraged the practitioners to write in order to document their experiences and impressions. It doesn’t believe that idea and article production is only the “elite’s profession”.

In the light of the stimulation from many different canals, “opening up new horizons” and “sharing of the experiences” are intended. Working Environment periodical has become a school by itself gradually both for its readers and for the participants of the reader seminars. The enrichment of knowledge and experience of its readers and sharing of these in frequent terms have enabled the periodical to move new steps forward; and thus, the periodical’s development success profile has been evolving and advancing since the very first day.
The editorship of the periodical was undertook by Dr. A. Gurhan Fisek between March 1992 and February 1997, and from that time on by Haluk Orhun, M. Sc. Physical Engineer. This new period has brought about various transformations in terms of both form and essence of the periodical. Acquiring an extensive content, the periodical has found an opportunity to address a broader circle.

Working Environment periodical has a crucial place in the structure of the institute, for it is a mean of sharing. Fisek Institute has been eager to share any of its projects and every innovation that it noticed in practice with whom it may concern. In contrast to some scientific circles where projects and information are kept secret out of envy, the institute has been striving to assist anyone interested.

Working Environment periodical has achieved many “firsts” also. For example, it is the first and only periodical maintaining its title of dignity as the longest-lived periodical on “occupational safety and health” in Turkey. It is the first periodical allowing readers to orient itself by means of regular participation of the readers (reader seminars). It is the first formation in its field of interest bringing in a continuity for the collective studies through multi-disciplinary contributions (reader seminars, workshops, and etc.).

It has not aimed putting the academic studies on display, but rather broadening the readers’ horizon and comprehending things surrounding us in a multi-dimensional way by means of idea production. Consequently, this has been reflected on the selection of the topics, its jargon and distribution policy.The periodical has not been distributed via distribution companies. It has been sent out to the subscribers and libraries only, in addition to the labour unions, non-governmental organisations, some companies, institutions and academicians that are not subscribed, still considered that it is better for them to follow the periodical.

Since the very first day of its publishing, Working Environment periodical has not tended to be released merely by academic concerns, yet preferred to bring out an action guide and to become a source of reference, information and experience for the non-governmental organisations.

The first years of the periodical’s release were the ones during which periodicals were ephemeral in general so that readers were not willing to subscribe to. However, Working Environment proved it to be wrong. In spite of the fact that the revenues acquired from the subscriptions were never sufficient enough to cover the expenses, this drawback was overcame by relocating the institute’s other activities’ revenues to the periodical. Therefore, this saved the periodical from the pressure and necessity of receiving ads. It has not been the periodical’s principle “not to receive ads”; but anyhow, the probable effects of the advertisement policies over the periodical’s have not been allowed to occur.

It is also a pleasant fact that the periodical was subscribed and distributed to the libraries nation-wide by the Ministry of Culture / General Directorate of Libraries in 1994-95 and 1998. In this way, new means of reaching to the people unaware of the periodical have been obtained.

In the year 1992, when the “Reader Seminars” were just put into practice, it was rarely possible to encounter with such activities allowing idea production. Among these, there is no one left both continuing today and putting the result of the seminars into practice. The reader seminars (or the “workshops” as we call them at present) have enabled the periodical to determine its direction. In this manner, a participatory process has been put into effect and the framework of the periodical has been organised. The principle that the next seminar’s topic is determined by the people who were the participants of the last one has also enabled the periodical to develop in parallel to the intellectual development of this “environment”. As a result, a multi-disciplinary approach has shown itself in both the writers’ profiles and also in the handling of the topics as time passed toward the recent issues.
It is the “approach” to a subject that is centred upon and so that leads people from different professions to show their interest in the topics discussed. It is not the technical details appreciated in considering the topics, but rather the presentation, the crowd intended to cover, the policies to which it belong and the policies by which it has been effected. Most importantly, each and every reader may run across with common incidents in their lives, when reading the articles. For instance, if “fire” is the subject covered, everyone can attain at an information, got through the “existing experiences” and written in a comprehensible manner, about the potential risks that we may run into in our everyday lives.

Despite the fact that only a few articles taking place in the periodical bear a common signature of more that one writer, this is not the case. Because, what is important regarding the topics held during the reader seminars is writing the articles according to one’s area of specialisation even after a collective study and argumentation has been achieved. We may call them a “collective study” in terms of both their being written after a collective activity like reader seminars, and also their covering the processes such as pre-preparations, discussions and writing.

The publication of the Working Environment periodical has been carried out by Fisek Institute- Science and Action Foundation for Child Labour since March 1997.