ASSE President Signs Singapore Accord

"This is one of the most significant initiatives produced on the international stage by the OHS profession," said ASSE President Jim Smith, MS, CSP, who was in Singapore to sign the accord on Sept. 3. "For the first time, we have achieved a common global commitment to defining capabilities for OHS professionals and practitioners, which in turn will raise competencies and ultimately lead to fewer worker injuries, illnesses, and fatalities."

The American Society of Safety Engineers has joined 45 organizations from around the world in signing the Singapore Accord, which has been spearheaded by the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organizations (INSHPO) and presents a global capability framework for occupational health and safety professionals that will increase the effectiveness and impact of their role in every industry.

"This is one of the most significant initiatives produced on the international stage by the OHS profession," said ASSE President Jim Smith, MS, CSP, who was in Singapore to sign the accord on Sept. 3. "For the first time, we have achieved a common global commitment to defining capabilities for OHS professionals and practitioners, which in turn will raise competencies and ultimately lead to fewer worker injuries, illnesses, and fatalities."

The OHS Professional Capability Framework took six years to develop. It received global support from organizations such as the Safety Institute of Australia, New Zealand Institute of Safety Management, and Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association at the signing, done ahead of the 21st World Congress on Safety and Health at Work.

According to ASSE, the framework defines the roles, skills, knowledge, and qualifications recommended for OHS professionals and practitioners. It is a consensus-based document developed from an international analysis of data from national professional associations and certification bodies; because of the diversity of OHS approaches across countries, INSHPO created an overarching structure designed to encompass all of them.

ASSE reported the framework was analyzed 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. "We need the ability to self-improve if we're going to elevate the status of the OHS professional and get all employers to recognize the incredible value of these roles," Smith said. "A cornerstone of stimulating preventive actions and improving workplace safety is a network of highly capable professionals whose focus is just that. Far too many people are still getting injured and sick on the job. We can do better."

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