New Chapter Development: Professional Practice and Ethics

  • April 13, 2024

Ethical issues are not a ‘one-off’ occurrence in the practice of OHS professionals but are integral to our role and practice. We may be dealing with ethical issues every day without realising it. This chapter focuses on the OHS professional as an ‘ethical professional’, it takes the position that OHS professionals have an inbuilt desire to be ethical, that awareness is the first requirement in decision-making and action for ethical practice. But managing these ethical issues can present difficulties, requires complex analysis and thinking and the will and skill to speak up

The chapter reviews the legal obligations of the OHS professional and introduces the OHS professional as a ‘moral agent’. It then discusses ethical theory from a moral philosophy perspective as a basis for examining the role of formal codes of ethics and the particular ethical challenges for OHS professionals. These discussions set the basis for considering ethical capability for OHS professionals and the application of ethical theory to ethical dilemmas in OHS practice and speaking up. The chapter concludes with a section on implications for OHS practice including some suggestions on building skills in speaking up.

The chapter is being developed as joint project with the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) with a cross-country Technical Panel. Consultation sessions based on the first draft were held in Australia and Canada earlier this year. The chapter is currently being peer-reviewed with publication likely in October.



  • Start Date:April 13, 2024
  • End Date:April 13, 2024