. "Appendix B Statement on Committee Composition by Committee Member James A. Oppold." Safe Work in the 21st Century: Education and Training Needs for the Next Decade's Occupational Safety and Health Personnel. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.
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Safe Work in the 21st Century: Education and Training Needs for the Next Decade’s Occupational Safety and Health Personnel
the committee are or have been affiliated with schools of public health or medicine. Their strategies and ideas generally prevailed for a simple majority consensus. I cannot view these decisions as a mandate or even a consensus. For example, the subject of health care, not workers’ health care, was an unnecessary topic to be included in the report, but the majority of the committee felt otherwise.
Prevention of injuries, illnesses, and workplace fatalities is a very complex problem and discussion of these problems should have equally included representatives from other disciplines. The discussions would have benefited from ideas and strategies from disciplines such as engineering, business, law, risk analysis, and the sciences (including psychology) and industrial technology. The framers of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 gave the responsibility for carrying out its directives to two different federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), which indicates that disciplines other than health or more specifically public health should be involved in the prevention of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
As for assessing the professional manpower needs the Committee generally agreed that this could not be accomplished within our limited time and research capabilities. Finally, as previously indicated the report could have been better with input from a more balanced committee.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve on the Committee to Assess Training Needs for Occupational Safety and Health Personnel in the United States and trust that my efforts to emphasize injury/fatality prevention brought meaning to the discussions. It is my desire, as it has been for 40 years, to make the place of employment safe and healthy.