Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Education: The Key to Safe Living

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Education: The Key to Safe Living

Article excerpt

IN DECEMBER 1994, I WILL HAVE COMPLETED 37 YEARS working in some area of the safety field. This includes the U.S. military (aviation), high school (driver education teacher), Fortune 500 company (loss prevention manager), and higher education (university professor--department chair).

With this broad work experience, I have been able to observe "safety" in a variety of situations, especially as a professional educator and practitioner. It is from this work experience plus years of active participation in professional safety organizations and societies that I offer some personal perspectives on safety as it exists today in the United States.

When the safety movement is put into a historical context, it is apparent that much has been accomplished, especially in business and industry. This progress, however, was primarily pushed along by "legislation" and a "thou shall punish" philosophy. A review of current accident statistics indicates some success. However, I feel there is still a need for more active participation and cooperation in safety by management, employees, unions, and government. The current OSHA reform proposal may provide the additional impetus needed. However, it is apparent that safety is still not a well-accepted activity in today's workplace. If we are to meet the OSHA mandate of providing "safe and healthful working conditions" for every man and woman, then it is important that efforts be made by all concerned, especially since the workplace of the future will be service-oriented, technology-driven, global in nature, with rapid communication, more responsive management, and emphasis on effectiveness.

Since the majority of my professional career has been in higher education (19 years) and the preparation of future safety professionals (2000 plus), I have been able to observe a number of significant changes in the educational process. For example, early degree programs were primarily traffic-oriented with occupational safety growing significantly after the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. Today, there are more than 50 institutions offering safety degrees with enrollment estimated at more than 4,000 majors. In addition, degree program accreditation and individual certification are now in place which provide credibility to the safety profession. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.