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By Willow Aliento
September 7, 2017
The Safety Institute of Australia joined more than 30 organisations from around the world this month in signing the landmark Singapore Accord.
Spearheaded by the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organizations (INSHPO), the Accord presents a global capability framework for occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals that aims to increase the effectiveness and impact of OHS roles in every industry.
The OHS Professional Capability Framework establishes critical benchmarks, defining the skills and knowledge requirements for OHS work.
It is a consensus-based document developed from an international analysis of data from national professional associations and certification bodies.
The overarching structure of the framework has been designed to encompass all of the different OHS approaches undertaken across different countries.
It was also analysed by safety experts from a variety of industries around the world, and was given a test run as a practical application by the International Council on Mining and Metals.
“This is one of the most significant initiatives ever produced on the international stage by the OHS profession,” SIA Chair Patrick Murphy said.
“For the first time, we have achieved a commitment to defining capabilities for OHS professionals and practitioners, shared by countries throughout the world. This is one more step in our work to ensure healthy and safe workers in Australia’s workplaces.”
The International Labor Organization reports that more than 300 million accidents occur on the job annually around the world, resulting in significant human suffering and economic burdens.
In Australia, the annual cost of workplace injury, illness, disease and fatality is estimated to be $6.8 billion per year - and the construction industry consistently appears in the top five industries for workplace injury or fatalities..
“If we’re going to elevate the status of the OHS profession and have greater recognition of the incredible value of OHS roles, we need a stronger common language, and commitment to improving how we perform.” Mr Murphy said.
“The Framework will do its part to help business leaders everywhere identify capable people for health and safety roles, and that’s a key element in managing organisational risk.”
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