Chapter 38.1: Model of OHS Practice

Chapter 38.1: Model of OHS Practice

Abstract
This chapter describes the generation of a model of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) practice. As part of Australia-wide consultation on the OHS Body of Knowledge, 137 members of the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) participated in unstructured discussion about OHS professional practice. A second consultation stage comprised four focus groups with a total of 20 OHS professionals who participated in small-group model-building discussions. The consensus model derived from this consultation process has three elements: a cyclical model of the OHS problem-solving process, two metaskills that apply to all model components and a description of the areas of practice to which OHS professionals apply their skills. Although the model is presented as a work-in-progress that will benefit from further discussion and research, its existence will be useful in addressing OHS professional role definition issues. Also, it will assist OHS educators in defining curricula, professional bodies in evaluating ‘demonstrated practice,’ and OHS professionals in identifying continued professional development requirements.

Keywords: model of practice, professional, OHS, occupational health and safety

First year of publication: 2012

Current Version Pending Review: 2012

Chapter 38.1: Model of OHS Practice

Table of contents

1 Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
1.1 What is a model of practice? …………………………………………………………………………… 1
1.2 Why a model of practice is important to the OHS profession ……………………………… 1
2 Methodology for developing the model of OHS practice ………………………………………….. 2
3 The Model of OHS Practice ………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
3.1 Cyclic components ………………………………………………………………………………………… 8
3.2 Metaskills and professional practice skills ………………………………………………………… 9
3.3 Areas of practice………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
4 Application of the Model of OHS practice …………………………………………………………….. 11
5 Areas for further development ……………………………………………………………………………… 11
6 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12

Pam Pryor BSc, BEd, GDipOHM, FSIA
Secretary, SIA OHS Education Chapter Sessional Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow and PhD student, University of Ballarat

Pam has qualifications in education and OHS, and has been a practising OHS professional for more than 25 years. She has worked in various internal and external consultant OHS roles, and was the chair of the Technical Panel for the OHS Body of Knowledge project. Pam is undertaking a PhD to examine factors affecting the influence of OHS professionals on senior management.

Susanne Tepe PhD, MBA, MOS, FSIA
Associate Professor of OHS, RMIT University

Susanne is an OHS educator and researcher who combines a scientific approach with an understanding of management practice and systems thinking. Before becoming an academic, she worked as an OHS professional, specialising in toxicology and change management. Susanne was a member of the OHS Body of Knowledge Technical Panel.

Peer reviewers
David Caple BSc(Hons), DipEd, MSc Adjunct Professor,
La Trobe University; Director, David Caple and Associates Pty Ltd

Dr John Barton BSc, PhD, FFIT
Adjunct Reader, Centre for Integrative Systems, University of Queensland

Learning Outcomes: Model of OHS practice

The OHS Body of Knowledge takes a conceptual approach which enables it to be applied in different contexts and frameworks.

To optimise its value for education and professional development learning outcomes have been developed for each technical chapter in the Body of Knowledge.

The learning outcomes as described give an indication of what should be the capabilities of an OHS professional; it is up to those developing OHS education programs, OHS professionals planning their CPD or recruiters or employers selecting or developing people for the OHS function to consider the required breadth vs. depth .

Please read the section on using the learning outcomes before delving into the leaning outcomes of the individual chapters.

The numbers against each learning outcome refer to the chapter number of the BOK download page. No learning outcomes have been developed for the chapters considered introductory or underpinning knowledge (that is chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, .13, 14, 15.)

Find Out More About Using the OHS BOK Learning Outcomes