Recommendation 8: Increase attention to special needs of older, female, and ethnic/cultural minority workers.
All aspiring OSH professionals must be made aware of ethnic and cultural differences that may affect implementation of OSH programs. In addition, because OSH programs are social as well as scientific endeavors, NIOSH, OSHA, NIEHS, other federal and state agencies, educational institutions, unions, employers, associations, and others engaged in the training of OSH personnel should foster and/or support efforts to provide a body of safety and health professionals and trainees that reflects age, gender, and ethnic/cultural background of the workforces that they serve. These organizations should also foster meaningful instruction on the aging process, the interaction of disabilities and chronic diseases with workplace demands, and communication skills to interact with minority workers and workers with low levels of literacy and those for whom English is a second language.
To prepare present and future OSH professionals to address continuing changes in the U.S. workforce, in the workplace, and in the organization of work itself as major determinants of workplace safety, health, and well-being:
Recommendation 9: Examine current accreditation criteria and standards.
Boards and other groups that accredit academic programs in the OSH professions, in conjunction with appropriate professional organizations, should carefully examine their current accreditation criteria and standards, paying special attention to the needs of students in the areas of behavioral health, work organization, communication (especially risk communication), management, team learning, workforce diversity, information systems, prevention interventions, healthcare delivery, and evaluation methods.
Recommendation 10: Broaden graduate training support to include behavioral health science programs.
NIOSH should broaden its graduate training support to include the behavioral health sciences (e.g., psychology, psychiatry, and social work) by developing and maintaining training programs in work organization and the prevention and treatment of physical and mental effects of work-related stress.