A new global agreement signed by more than 40 organizations from around the world is expected to elevate the role of occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals in every industry and advance the cause of workplace health and safety.

The Singapore Accord on the Standards of OSH Professionals presents a global OHS Professional Capability 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.

A framework that fits all

In development for years, the Accord was spearheaded by the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organizations (INSHPO), which created an overarching structure designed to encompass the diversity of OSH approaches in many different countries. The framework was analyzed by safety experts from a variety of industries around the world. It was enhanced through practical application by the International Council on Mining and Metals.

“The Framework aims to guide business leaders everywhere in identifying competent professionals working in the health and safety profession,” said Greg Dearsly, National Manager of the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management (NZISM). “This defines the value of the OHS professional and practitioner leading to improved organisational outcomes.”

2.3 million deaths a year

There are approximately 2.3 million work-related deaths and more than 300 million workplace accidents globally each year, according to the International Labour Organization. Occupational diseases are the biggest factor in fatalities.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) was one of the organizations that signed the agreement – and is a founding member of INSHPO. ASSE President Jim Smith, M.S., CSP, called the accord “one of the most significant initiatives produced on the international stage by the OHS profession.”

Other groups that supported the agreement include the Safety Institute of Australia and the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (UK).


INSHPO is a nonprofit organization for the occupational safety and health profession which acts as a forum for international collaboration to improve safety and health at work.It 14 member organizations that are based in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, Singapore and Korea. To learn more about INSHPO, visit www.inshpo.org.