More than Run for Health - report on the 4th Safety and Health Day at the University of Gdańsk


The Safety and Health Day at the University of Gdańsk was held for the fourth time this year. Among the attractions prepared for visitors were a firefighting simulator, exercises with a physiotherapist, an office massage, first aid workshops, or a wheel of fortune where visitors could test their knowledge of health and safety issues. 

The first edition of this event took place in 2021. At that time, two online meetings were prepared on the coronavirus threat and the pandemic situation, and the interest exceeded the organisers' expectations. 'Actually, people convinced us that it was worth organising such events,' noted Head of the Office of Occupational Safety and Health of the UG Tomasz Klawikowski. The positive response from participants became a stimulus to prepare further events, such as the one held on May 9 - it was possible also thanks to the support of the Foundation for the Development of the University of Gdańsk.

Among the biggest organisational challenges - according to the event's main coordinator, Kamila Hejmowska - was ensuring that there were enough rooms and space, especially as some of the activities on offer (such as exercising with a physiotherapist) had to take place in specific conditions. This year, the space for the Health and Safety Day was the Faculty of Social Sciences. However, the organisers of the event would like future editions to be held in different locations to ensure that as many staff and students as possible can participate in the event.

The health and safety inspectors are also thinking of reformulating the event so that the offered activities address specific issues - and respond to people's real, current health or safety needs. The organisers emphasise the strong interest in the activities on offer. The limit of places for some of them was exhausted within a minute and a half of the sign-ups being launched. The record-breaker in this case turned out to be the office massage.

'I feel great,' said Agnieszka Glejzer, who works in the Dean's Office of the Faculty of History, after the massage. ‘The muscle tension that unfortunately comes with office work has disappeared. I am impressed by the skills. I feel that I will return to work full of energy.’

Other attractions prepared for visitors included a fire extinguishing simulator, where they could practice using a fire extinguisher in a safe manner, exercises with a physiotherapist, first aid workshops, and a wheel of fortune, where they could test their knowledge of health and safety issues. There were stands of companies taking care of health and safety daily, as well as the DKMS Foundation, which was invited to the University's Health and Safety Day for the second time, to encourage registration in the database of bone marrow donors. The Foundation's representative, Kinga Hildebrand, highlighted the growing trend in this area.

Visitors could take advantage of podiatry advice, press a glass of juice using stationary bike, take a look at a variety of personal protective equipment, virtually rescue a cat from a burning building thanks to VR goggles, or experience altered perception in ALCOgoggles. Police officers also had their stand at the entrance, ready to answer questions from the event's participants - for example, on various situations involving violations of the law.

The culmination of the Health and Safety Day was the Run for Health, in which around 80 participants took part. Szymon Gumkowski - a multiple medallist at the Polish Academic Championships in cross-country running and athletics - invited participants to take part in sporting activities. He expressed his joy that the Run for Health is being held for the third time, and that it is another event of this type at the University of Gdańsk, in addition to the UG Rector's Run.

The champion's first place was no surprise. However, the next person at the finish line was greeted no less enthusiastically. Mateusz Krzych from the UG General Chancellery took part in the run organised by the University for the third time and twice took first place. He admitted that the pride from his colleagues (as well as the training he has been doing for several years) motivates him to keep going.

The next opportunity to test his strength will be the UG Rector's Run, scheduled for May 21.

Karolina Żuk-Wieczorkiewicz/Press Team; photo by Alan Stocki