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Safe Work in the 21st Century: Education and Training Needs for the Next Decade’s Occupational Safety and Health Personnel
METHODS OF THE PRESENT IOM STUDY
In 1999 IOM assembled a committee of scientists and medical practitioners in accordance with the established procedures of the National Academies, including an examination of possible biases and conflicts of interest and provision of opportunity for public comment. A roster with brief biographies of the committee members is provided in Appendix A.
A wide variety of sources were used to assemble the data and information necessary to respond to the charge. A list of some of the individuals who assisted the committee in this effort is provided on page xiii. An initial organizational and data-gathering meeting of the committee in March 1999 provided an overview of several important organizations and education and training programs within the federal government—NIOSH, OSHA, NIEHS, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. At a subsequent meeting, in May 1999, the committee heard about the training and utilization of OSH professionals in additional federal agencies, namely the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Energy. That meeting also featured briefings from representatives of the major OSH professional associations: the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), and the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN). The committee also heard from the National Safety Council and representatives of business (Organization Resource Counselors, Inc.), labor (New York State Public Employees Federation, American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations) and the insurance industry (Liberty Mutual). Follow-up with the speakers provided more detailed information and points of contact for additional questions. The sponsors’ project officers shared information on education and training from their files or put committee members in touch with the offices that had relevant data, and the committee members themselves contributed both personal contacts and specific information from their own files and experience. The World Wide Web provided much information about additional organizations and OSH training, and the following databases were accessed and searched: the National Center for Education Statistics database, National Center for Health Statistics Data Warehouse, the Federal Research in Progress database, the Federal Conference Papers database, Medline, MedStar, and HSRProj. The committee relied heavily on published and Internet-accessible data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for projections of changes in the workforce and trends in occupational injuries and illnesses. The committee’s discussion of distance learning (Chapter 8) was greatly enhanced by a commissioned paper on that topic written for the committee by Tim Stephens, the director of the Center for