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December/January 2021/2022 (vol. 18/4)

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SPECIAL REPORT: Protecting and enhancing the reputation of OH

Should ‘occupational health’ be a protected title?


In this special report, John Ballard presents the findings of our exclusive survey of OH professionals on whether ‘occupational health’ should be a protected title. He also explores whether this could be achieved in practice.

There is nothing to stop anyone calling themselves an ‘occupational health (OH) specialist’ or ‘OH practitioner’ and giving advice to employers and workers on health and work. Health and safety regulations require practitioners to be ‘competent’ to carry out health surveillance but – with the exception of regulated areas, such as diving, maritime and aviation – you do not have to be qualified in OH to give an opinion on fitness for work, or to provide advice on work-related ill health and rehabilitation from sickness absence.

This report includes analysis of an online survey of OH physicians and OH nurses asking whether they think ‘occupational health’ should be a protected title…


John Ballard is editor of Occupational Health [at Work].

Author: Ballard J


Occupational Health at Work December/January 2021/2022 (vol. 18/4) pp22-28

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