Welcome to the OHS Body of Knowledge

The OHS Body of Knowledge (OHS BoK) is the collective knowledge that should be shared by generalist OHS professionals to provide a sound basis for understanding the causation and control of work related fatality, injury, disease and ill health (FIDI). This knowledge can be described in terms of its key concepts and language, its core theories and related empirical evidence, and the application of these to facilitate a safe and healthy workplace.

The OHS BoK has been developed for the Australian OHS context but has international application.

Why does the OHS profession need the OHS BoK?

A defined body of knowledge is an important pre-requisite of a profession. It is also required as a basis for professional certification and for accreditation of programs giving entry to the profession.

OHS practice draws on many disciplines and this lack of a disciplinary boundary has inhibited the recognition of OHS as profession. The OHS BoK provides a conceptual framework for the knowledge and defines the scope of the knowledge to inform professional practice.

Why is the OHS BoK important to OHS professionals?

The OHS BoK is primarily designed for OHS professionals to support shared understanding of causation and control of work-related fatality, injury, disease and ill-health. Such a shared understanding facilitates informed discussion and reflection to improve OHS professional practice.

If you are an OHS professional seeking professional certification then your practice will be assessed considering the scope of the OHS BoK and your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) will be structured with reference to the OHS Body of Knowledge.

Why is the OHS BoK important to educators and students?

If you are an OHS educator the OHS BoK will inform your program development and your learning materials.

If you are a prospective OHS student your selected accredited education program will have been developed taking account of the OHS Body of Knowledge. The OHS BoK chapters and resources provide you evidenced-based information that is both core and extension for your study topics. They should be the first step in your reference search.

Find out more about the OHS BoK

The OHS Body of Knowledge for Generalist OHS Professionals was developed in response to an identified need to define the collective knowledge that should be shared by Australian Generalist OHS Professionals as a basis for understanding the causation and control of work-related fatality, injury, disease and ill-health.

The importance of a defined body of knowledge for a profession is highlighted in the definition of a profession:

“A profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from research, education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to apply this knowledge and exercise these skills in the interest of others” [emphasis added] (Professions Australia, 1997).

OHS BoK & Research
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Using OHS BoK for CPD Planning
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The OHS BoK and much more...


Evidenced-based summaries of concepts forming the OHS Body of Knowledge for Generalist OHS Professionals.

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes provide guidance to OHS educators, students and professionals regarding the application of the OHS Body of Knowledge in the completion of OHS core activities.


The resources listed under chapter headings provide a quick reference for supporting information on the practical application or extension of chapter topics.

LinkedIn Group

The OHS BoK LinkedIn Group provides access to articles and discussion on current topics of relevance to the generalist OHS professional.

Latest News

August 2021

September 1, 2021

The last 12 months have been busy for the OHS Body of Knowledge. Since October last year we have published…

Recent News: September 2020

October 6, 2020

As reported in recent months we have been working on reviewing and updating existing chapters as well as completing new…

Recent News: July 2020

July 21, 2020

Our last News update was in April. At that time we could not have envisaged how our world would change…

Current Projects

August 2021: Three projects nearing completion

September 1, 2021

As at August 2021 we have three projects nearing completion 16 Work-related Musculoskeletal disorders (anticipated publication September) 12.2 OHS management…

Rules and Procedures

October 7, 2020

Documentation and excessive rules are seen to create an illusion of safety while possibly increasing risk and confusion. However, rules…

July, 2020

October 7, 2020

The OHS BoK continues our program of review and updating of existing chapters with six chapters under active review: 7…

Collaboration Partners

Project Partners