New research on occupational safety and health professionals now available

The research provides a review of OSH qualification systems across 14 countries highlighting differences and similarities regarding regulation, education, training, and qualification, and context surrounding OSH professionals employed in workplaces to carry out functions for OSH management.

News | 16 May 2023
Occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals play an important role in ensuring workplaces are safe and healthy. Around the world, many workplaces don’t have access to sufficient knowledge on OSH to undertake proper OSH management at the workplace level and financial resources to engage external expertise.

Knowledge is limited on the approaches and trends that can ensure OSH professionals have the qualifications to meet the needs of countries and enterprises. Until now, there has been no comprehensive overview of the different elements that make up an OSH qualification system.
To fill this knowledge gap, the ILO conducted research on OSH professionals’ qualification systems in 14 countries from various regions representing a variety of situations: Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Viet Nam. This research was conducted as part of a project funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea on ‘’Improving occupational safety and health qualifications frameworks’’ and implemented under the ILO’s Safety + Health for All flagship programme in line with its strategy.

The research focuses on professionals with relevant qualifications that provide either safety-related functions or health-related functions or a mixture of both at the workplace, and who are responsible for the overall safety and health management in the workplace. These personnel could be referred to as safety and health professionals appointed by the employer at the workplace to manage OSH.

The research report provides a comprehensive summary of OSH qualification systems across the different countries. The findings illustrate the differences and similarities between countries in terms of regulation, job titles, duties and tasks, education and training, competence, professional development, certification, ethical practice, and key themes related to entering the profession and emerging challenges faced by the profession. The report of findings also presents recommendations for future research and country support. Research findings will serve as a basis for the development of a practical guide to support countries in the assessment and further improvement of their national OSH qualification system.

The full report of findings and its executive summary can be accessed here.