Occupational Health and Safety Knowledge and Practice
Pp. 87-136 (50)
Marcela G. Ribeiro and Fernanda F. Ventura
Changes in the world of work have been witnessed worldwide. They have
profoundly affected the working life, the occupational health and safety professions
structure, and occupational health and safety professional role. This chapter invites to
reflections concerning needs on occupational health and safety professional
competencies demanded by the changing world of work. Occupational health and safety
professionals will be a necessary part of doing business worldwide, as researchers,
educators, or practitioners. Nevertheless, competencies these professionals must acquire
are at stake. Training and education must be redesigned for creating competent critical
mass of occupational health and safety experts, able to understand and to deal with
emerging issues in the changing world of work. Multiple disciplinary learning
approaches are needed to tackle today’s complex problems of working environments.
The occupational health and safety professionals must find balance between knowledge
breadth and depth. Changing values at university is an opportunity to enhance the value
of occupational health and safety for a wider audience in an environment where
occupational health and safety issues are usually under evaluated. Beyond technical
expertise, skills are needed to move forward. Resilience is certainly the most important
to be developed. To be resilient, professionals must be self-reliant, requiring a
continuous openness towards life-long learning. The occupational health and safety
professional must now know how to learn during an entire lifespan. Despite theoretical
knowledge gathered from studies already conducted on several aspects, occupational
health and safety conditions worsen. Attempts should be made to strengthen knowledgepractice
link. Researchers, professors, students and practitioners must face this biggest
challenge, which can determine the success or the failure on the enhancement of
occupational health and safety conditions.
Breadth of knowledge, changing world of work, commitment,
communication, continuing learning, depth of knowledge, life-long learning,
long-lasting research, multiple disciplinary approach, OHS profession, OHS professional skills, OHS research, research and practice gap, resilience, selfreliance,
teamwork, training needs, university education.
Fundação Jorge Duprat Figueiredo de Segurança e Medicina do Trabalho, Rua Capote Valente, 710 CEP: 05409-002, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.