The International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organizations (INSHPO) has recently issued The Global Capability Framework for Occupational Health and Safety Professionals. The document can be found here. The Framework is the culmination of years of development and consultation with health and safety professionals, educators and certifying bodies across eleven countries. This includes member organizations from Canada, some of which were among the founders of the group in 2001.

Intended to help bring some clarity to the OHS role, the Framework sets out the types of activities such an individual is expected to undertake, as well as the required knowledge for those activities to be done well. Businesses in the energy industry and the health and safety professionals they employ would be wise to consider looking to the document as a form of confirming checklist against the detailed personal, professional and technical skills said to be necessary to achieve success in the OHS role. The Framework can also serve as a guideline to measure such skills against relevant performance criteria. For those that operate in multiple jurisdictions, the Framework could assist in assessing conformity to international criteria and providing internal consistency, as well as consistency across the industry.

The role of an OHS professional is an important one within any organization focused on achieving its health and safety goals. The 2015 Pipeline Industry Report details the current good pipeline safety record of its industry members. In keeping with the stated goal of zero incidents, the Framework can assist the industry with the hiring and retention of qualified OHS individuals as well as help businesses examine whether they are currently measuring the performance of those roles in an appropriate manner. As well, it should help the industry continue to recognize and reinforce the importance that skilled OHS professionals play in the overall safety and operations of the business.