Global Occupational Safety and Health Management Handbook
Wednesday 8th May 2019
To this end, the Global Occupational Safety and Health Management Handbook draws on examples from countries as diverse as Australia, India, the US and Tanzania.
Editor Thomas Fuller is an American industrial hygienist with more than 35 years' experience in occupational safety, infection control, environmental management and public health. His career spans the health care, nuclear, biopharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors, among others. Now a lecturer at Illinois State University, he contributes many of the book's chapters, with other writers sharing examples.
Presented as a broad discussion of the issues and obstacles that face the OSH profession in providing safe workplaces globally, the book's semi-academic style does jar somewhat. However, the examples set out are useful, given that they appear to be based on the authors' own experiences.
The chapter that covers the demography, work structure and regulatory framework in France, Spain, India, Japan, China, the US and countries in Africa and South America was particularly interesting. The chapters on child labour and modern slavery make the reader sit up and think differently about issues UK-based OSH professionals probably take for granted.
Other chapters cover the global perspective of risk assessment, management systems and benchmarking performance. Although they would add to the basic knowledge of someone with an entry-level qualification, there weren't any golden nuggets that helped to advance knowledge. For example, the chapter on benchmarking discussed simply how you would do so. Arguably, the fundamentals in performing this type of work are the same whether you are doing it locally or globally.
The publisher's summary notes that the book offers seasoned OSH professionals the opportunity to learn about new ways to look at complicated and controversial topics. It also says it will appeal to young professionals and students in understanding global OSH challenges.
There may be some merit in this description but it's hard to see the book appealing to anyone already working in safety roles abroad because the issues raised will already be familiar to them. Instead, it offers more value to those thinking about working outside the UK in the future.
However, the book does offer value to those who have supply chains outside the UK and will give a good set of pointers to consider beyond those that would normally spring to mind.