National assessment of the occupational safety and health workforce
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National assessment of the occupational safety and health workforce

  • Published Date:

    October 3, 2011

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National assessment of the occupational safety and health workforce
  • Description:
    ""A fundamental part of the mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is developing and supporting a new generation of occupational safety and health (OS&H) professionals, which in turn is critical to the future of occupational safety and health. As part of its mission, NIOSH therefore funds programs to support occupational safety and health education through regional university-based Education and Research Centers and Training Project Grants. NIOSH currently supports training in nine disciplines - occupational safety, industrial hygiene, occupational medicine, occupational health nursing, health physics, ergonomics, occupational epidemiology, occupational health psychology, and occupational injury prevention. The changing nature of the U.S. economy, along with the shifting needs of the workforce, requires NIOSH to understand whether it is providing sufficient support for the training of OS&H professionals and, of equal importance, whether it is supporting the kind of training employers need to meet their OS&H program requirements. The National Assessment of the Occupational Safety & Health Workforce was conducted to help NIOSH determine how best to utilize and disseminate its training funds. The two key needs NIOSH expressed for this assessment were to: 1) Assess the current supply and future demand for OS&H professionals; and 2) Determine the desired professional competencies (i.e., knowledge, skills, and abilities) required for the next 5 years. NIOSH determined that any assessment capable of providing reliable information to answer these questions would require surveying both employers of OS&H professionals and providers of training to OS&H professionals. The Employer Survey component of the assessment was therefore drawn from across the broadest possible spectrum of the U.S. economy. The Provider Survey was directed at all U.S.-based educational institutions providing training to OS&H professionals at the bachelor's degree level and higher. An advisory Task Force, consisting of OS&H professionals from a variety of businesses, Government, unions and academia, was created to provide input on the development and conduct of the assessment. Prior to the two surveys, NIOSH also received valuable input from focus groups with professionals from the nine OS&H disciplines of interest to the assessment, as well as employers and trainers of OS&H professionals. Westat, a statistical and survey support contractor based in Rockville, Maryland, conducted the assessment under a contract with NIOSH." - NIOSHTIC-2 This report was prepared for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Office of Extramural Programs, under Contract 200-2000-08017, Task Order 18, by Westat, Rockville, MD.
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