Distance Learning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This paper, and other written materials presented to the committee, are maintained by the Public Access Office of the National Research Council Library. Appointments to view these materials may be made by telephoning the library at (202) 334-3543 or by electronic mail to nrclib@nas.edu.

Because time, expense, and contract specifications ruled out collection of original survey data on both the supply of and the demand for OSH professionals, the committee drew on membership data from the leading OSH professional societies for its analysis of the current OSH workforce. AAOHN and the American Board of Occupational Health Nursing, ACOEM, AIHA, ASSE, and the Employee Assistance Professional Association all provided copies of membership demographics and recent member surveys on relevant topics. Other quantitative information describing the current OSH workforce came from the Internet sites of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

ORGANIZATION OF THIS REPORT

Following this introductory chapter, Chapter 2 describes the current OSH professional workforce. Four chapters then describe current and anticipated trends in the general workforce, the workplace, the organization of work, and the delivery of health care. Chapter 3 explores the changing demographics of the United States and its possible effects on health and safety in the workplace. Chapter 4 examines the changing nature of work in the United States in the information age and the implications of those changes for occupational injuries and illnesses. Chapter 5 takes up the globalization of work in the 1990s and its consequences for workers and OSH professionals. In Chapter 6 the committee reviews a decade of changes in health care delivery in the United States, offers some thoughts on possible trends for the next decade, and points out the implications of those trends for the training of OSH personnel. Chapter 7 describes the current education and training programs that produce these OSH professionals. Chapter 8 analyzes the growing popularity of alternatives to campus-based, classroom instruction (e.g., “distance learning”) and their application to the education and training of OSH personnel. The final chapter presents a brief summary and the committee’s overall conclusions and recommendations.



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