Enhanced and innovative approaches to OSH and education are needed at the graduate level for health and safety managers, for industrial sector-specific training for those doing worker training, and for the general public with an emphasis on reaching children, parents, and the workforce. The committee makes the following specific recommendations, numbered for ease of reference and not as an indication of priority.
The current supply of OSH professionals, though diverse in knowledge and experience, generally meets the demands of large and some medium sized workplaces. However, the burden of largely preventable occupational diseases and injuries and the lack of adequate OSH services in most small and many medium-sized workplaces indicate a need for more OSH professionals at all levels. The committee also finds that OSH education and training needs to place more emphasis on injury prevention and that current OSH professionals need easier access to more comprehensive and alternative learning experiences.
To address the critical need to mitigate the enormous and continuing impacts of acute and chronic injuries on worker function, health, and well-being, to develop new leaders in this neglected field, and to strengthen research and training in it at all levels:
Recommendation 1: Add a new training initiative focused on prevention of occupational injuries.
NIOSH should develop a new training initiative focused on the prevention of occupational injuries, with special attention to the development of graduate-level faculty to teach and conduct research in this area. Possible approaches would include regional Occupational Injury Research, Prevention, and Control Centers as an entirely new program or by modification of the existing NIOSH training programs or collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
To enhance needed multidisciplinary research in injury prevention and in occupational safety and health in general: