The Relevance & Benefit of ISO 31000 to OSH Practice
- David W. Wilbanks (Murray State University) | Traci Byrd (Murray State University)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- October 2020
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 32 - 38
- 2020. American Society of Safety Professionals
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 2 since 2007
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OSH professionals and related specialties are wise to incorporate risk management theory into daily practice.
An internationally recognized consensus standard for risk management provides needed guidance for developing risk-based OSH competence.
Applied risk principles are needed to ensure alignment with an organization’s paramount objectives for OSH success.
Accredited board for engineering and technology has certified 20 OSH degree programs (ASSP, n.d.), while many dozens of other institutions throughout the U.S. offer some form of OSH technician training or advanced degrees (Universities.com, n.d.). Conservatively posited is that at no prior time have OSH education and training resources been so widely sought and utilized. This fact stands as a core reason those representing the broad and diverse OSH practices today are rightly regarded as professionals (Valentic, 2017).
Also posited is that risk is the most common theme found in OSH practice, whether the example considered is ergonomics, industrial hygiene, loss control, process safety, construction or mining safety, or others. All are inseparably bound by risk, which most might agree is simply that which can or cannot be accepted. Evidence of this is that each practice inevitably returns to the theme of risk analysis and assessment as its primary problem identification and resolution methodology (ANSI/ ASSP, 2011; 2016; ISO, 2018b). Risk is the tie that binds.
Bernstein (1998) writes:
The revolutionary idea that defines the boundary between modern times and the past is the mastery of risk: the notion that the future is more than a whim of the gods and that men and women are not passive before nature. (p. 1)
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