Chapter 3.1: The Generalist OHS professional in Australia

Chapter 3.1 The generalist OHS professional in Australia

Organisations make decisions within a socio-political context that encompasses business, technology and industrial relations imperatives. Such decisions have impacts, often latent, on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) risks within the workplace. The OHS professional needs to understand the organisation within which they consult, either internally or externally, so that they can influence the decision to minimise adverse OHS outcomes from decisions related to these imperatives. A socio-technical systems framework is used to discuss these issues.

Keywords: organisation, organisational maturity, leadership, management, culture, strategy, OHS performance measurement
First year of publication: 2012
Current Version: 2012

Chapter 3.1 The generalist OHS professional in Australia, 2012

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Evolution of generalist OHS Professional role
3 The requirement for workplaces to have qualified advice
4 The current environment
4.1 Economic and industrial environment
4.2 Legislative environment
4.3 Management practices
4.4 National Policy
4.5 Perceptions of the generalist OHS profession
4.6 Major OHS paradigm
5 The generalist OHS professional
5.1 Role and focus
5.2 Work arrangements
5.3 OHS professional education
5.4 Professional recognition
6 A new era for the generalist OHS professional 
6.1 The OHS Body of Knowledge
6.2 Accreditation of OHS professional education
6.3 Professional certification
6.4 Relationships with other OHS professional groups
6.5 Relationships with OHS regulators and policy makers
7 Summary
Appendix: Evolution of the role of the generalist OHS professional in Australia
A1 Introduction
A2 Before 1900
A3 1900 – 1930
A4 1930 – 1970
A5 1970s
A6 1980s
A7 1990s
A8 2000s

Pam Pryor: AO, BSc, BEd, GDipOHM, MAppSci, ChOHSP, FSIA

Secretary, SIA OHS Education Chapter Sessional Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow and PhD candidate, University of Ballarat

With a background in OHS consulting and OHS education Pam now specialises in activities around OHS capability and related aspects of OHS professionality. She was the chair of the Technical Panel that developed the OHS Body of Knowledge and inaugural Registrar of the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board. Her current role as Manager OHS Body of Knowledge Development focuses on the ongoing maintenance and further development of the OHS Body of Knowledge and associated resources. Pam is also involved in an international research network on OHS capability and was a key player in the development of the INSHPO Global OHS Capability Framework. Pam received an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2018 for her contribution to OHS through leadership and advisory roles, particularly in developing standards for education frameworks. Pam also received the 2017-18 President’s Award from American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) for her work on developing the Global OHS Capability Framework

Leo Ruschena: MSc, MIER, BEng, BEcon, GradDip OrgBeh, CFSIA

Senior Lecturer OHS, School of Applied Science, RMIT University

Leo’s postgraduate and undergraduate classes at RMIT University cover OHS management systems, risk assessment and controls, ergonomics and employee relations. Leo has held executive HR/OHS roles in WorkSafe Victoria and various Victorian and ACT electricity supply authorities. He has extensive OHS and HR experience, and a particular interest in the strategic involvement of health and safety leadership to improve organisational effectiveness

Learning Outcomes: The generalist OHS professional in Australia, 2012

No learning outcomes have been developed for the chapters considered introductory or underpinning knowledge (that is chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, 15.)

AIHS Webinar: OHS Certification Program

Short Summary:
This webinar provides information on the AIHS Certification Program, it’s purpose and assessment processes, with a particular focus on the demonstrated capability assessment and pathways to OHS professional certification

Date: 2017
Presenter: Jo Kitney, Chair AIHS Certification Governance Committee