The Safety Institute of Australia took a significant step towards a safer and healthier workplace on September 3 2017, when they joined more than 30 organisations from around the world in the landmark signing of the Singapore Accord.
The Accord, spearheaded by the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organizations (INSHPO), will present a global capability framework for occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals that will increase the effectiveness and impact of those roles in every industry.
SIA chair Patrick Murphy said: “This is one of the most significant initiatives ever produced on the international stage by the OHS profession.”
“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 OHS Professional Capability Framework has taken six years to establish critical benchmarks, defining the skills and knowledge requirements for OHS work so that organisations know what they should be getting from their OHS workforces, at each of six levels of work.
According to SIA, it is a consensus-based document developed from an international analysis of data from national professional associations and certification bodies and given the diversity of OHS approaches across countries, INSHPO created an overarching structure designed to encompass all of them. The framework says SIA was analysed by safety experts from a variety of industries around the world, and was enhanced through practical application by the International Council on Mining and Metals.
“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.” Murphy said.
Reports suggested by The International Labor Organization state 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 $61.8 billion per year.
“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,” Murphy said adding this is a further step in our work to build the value of the OHS professional and practitioner, and we believe it will lead to improved organizational outcomes.
Image sourced from Flickr cc: David Russo