OHS Body of Knowledge Update and call for OHS professionals as reviewers

Wednesday, 22 December, 2010 - 11:00
Industry news



Through analysis of OHS professional education programs in Australia, review of a range of international sources, and extensive workshops and engagement sessions with OHS educators and OHS professionals the OHS Body of Knowledge Technical Panel has identified three global concepts, nine technical concepts with a number of sub-concepts which together with the concept of ‘practice' as forming the core body of knowledge for OHS professionals. These are listed below.

Global concepts:      

  • Safety
  • Health
  • Work

Technical concepts:

  • Socio-political context: Law as regulation, political, economic, technological, societal, industrial relations
  • Systems: Systems and systems thinking, management systems, systems of work
  • The organization: Culture, leadership, organisational change, governance, management, organisational strategy
  • Foundation science: for understanding hazards, mechanism of action and so control
  • Human (individual):
    o    Biological
    o    Psychological(cognitive, behavioural)
    o    Social
  • Hazards and their mechanisms of action and related controls:
    o    Hazard as a concept
    o    Psycho-social
    o    Biomechanical
    o    Chemical
    o    Biological
    o    Physical: Noise and vibration
    o    Physical: Electricity 
    o    Physical: Radiation
    o    Physical: Thermal (hot/cold environments, processes and objects)
    o    Physical: Gravitational (people and things falling from heights), slips and trips
    o    Physical: Mechanical plant, pressure and mechanical strain  
    o    Physical: Mobile plant and vehicles
  • Risk: Uncertainty, perspectives, tolerance, acceptability, risk perception, exposure, likelihood, consequence, risk assessment/risk estimation
  • Causation:
    o    Overview preamble linking causation (health and safety) and links with control
    o    Models of occurrence causation Including multiple hazards (safety)
    o    Models of causation (health determinants)
  • Control:
    o    Philosophy of control
    o    Prevention and intervention (incl safe design)
    o    Mitigation: Health impacts
    o    Mitigation: Emergency planning


Selected authors have been asked to write on each concept and sub concept with the writing  for each section being between 3000 and 5000 words each. This concepts writing should be completed by the end of February 2011.

The next stage in the development of the OHS Body of Knowledge is for each concept and sub-concept to be peer-reviewed by a specialist in the topic and also reviewed by an OHS professional. The requirement for OHS professional reviewers is that they have tertiary qualifications in OHS and at least three years OHS experience post qualification. With their agreement, all reviewers will be noted in the OHS Body of Knowledge publication.

Should you meet these requirements and are interested in being a reviewer of a section of the OHS Body of Knowledge please email sally@enhancesolutions.com.au  by 18nd February with your name, email, contact phone number, the concepts/sub-concept  you are interested in reviewing, your qualifications, your SIA membership grade and a summary of your experience particularly with regard to the concept you wish to review.

This is your opportunity to influence the OHS Body of Knowledge that will impact on OHS professional education and on professional development of current professional and practitioners.