NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

The health and safety professional's need for management expertise.

Moser R Jr.
Effective management of health and safety programs: a practical guide, 3rd edition. Moser R Jr., ed. Berverly Farms, MA: OEM Press, 2008 Mar; :1-9
The health and safety practitioner must have both professional capabilities and management expertise in order to meet today's evolving health and safety challenges. Whether in a corporate environment, a government agency, an independent group practice setting, or a full-time consultant position, the professional needs management skills. Those in a hospital setting also find that management capabilities help them provide more comprehensive programs than they would without this expertise. As Drucker has noted, "[T]he fundamental task of management remains the same: to make people capable of joint performance through common goals, common values, the right structure, and the training and development they need to perform and to respond to change." He emphasizes the need for management capabilities by stating "Not to know how to manage is the single largest reason for the failure of new ventures" [1]. In essence, a manager's task is to get things done, through or with others. Without management expertise, those responsible for directing all or part of a health, safety, or health and safety program will find that their efforts are seriously compromised or possibly outright failures. These practitioners must obtain approval, funding, and support of their programs from managers who may not have health care expertise. For example, providers must convince hospital boards, typically composed of community leaders with various, nonhealth backgrounds, of the value of continuing or implementing new programs in the same manner as other health and safety managers have advocated their activities to corporate managers, legislators, and other decision makers. Similarly, those responsible for safety activities have to obtain program support from executive managers who often have limited, if any, knowledge of safety needs. In essence, senior executives expect health and safety managers to present and justify programs using the same techniques as other managers who are recommending a new process or activity directly related to the overall mission of a company or organization. Health and safety professionals must plan programs, accomplish budgeting, and evaluate program progress and success. Problems must be recognized and resolved, and appropriate personnel selected and encouraged to accomplish needed activities. Effective communication with managers, workers, patients, the public, and others involved in or affected by the particular program's health or safety activities is essential. In today's health care environments, the director of health and safety programs regularly uses these and other management techniques to accomplish effective health and safety functions.
Management-personnel; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Decision-making; Training; Education; Occupational-health; Environmental-health; Industrial-hygienists; Professional-workers; Task-performance; Group-behavior; Work-operations; Group-dynamics; Work-environment; Work-organization; Work-practices
Publication Date
Document Type
Moser R Jr.
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
Effective management of health and safety programs: a practical guide, 3rd edition
Performing Organization
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Page last reviewed: October 7, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division