Occupational Health and Safety Professionals

Occupational health and safety professionals utilize their unique training and experience to promote safer and healthier workplaces for Minnesota’s workers.   Each discipline addresses a specific need or aspect of occupational health and safety.   These disciplines include occupational medicine physicians, occupational health nurses, industrial hygienists, and safety engineers.   Occupational health and safety professionals work in clinics, hospitals, on job sites, at universities, and in government.  This indicator represents the number of trained and educated professionals available to address the diverse and often unique issues associated with workplace environments and worker health in Minnesota.

To create this indicator, the number of board certifications and memberships for Minnesota for various professional associations were obtained from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. These associations included the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).  These organizations and associations represent different disciplines that individually and jointly promote occupational health and safety. In addition to the numbers of these occupational health and safety professionals, rates of these professionals are also calculated per 100,000 employed persons age 16 and older.

Number of Health and Safety Professionals by Discipline or Certification in Minnesota, 2003-2010* 

Professional Category 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Number of Board-Certified Occupational Medicine Physicians 71 70 73 76 79 81 87 84
Number of Members of the American College of Occ. and Env. Medicine (ACOEM) 106 93 97 99 102 94 90 90
Number of Board-Certified Occupational Health Nurses 148 144 141 150 120 117 114 109
Number of Members of the American Association of Occ. Health Nurses (AAOHN) 162 176 184 150 138 142 116 *
Number of Board-Certified Industrial Hygienists 160 163 171 173 173 175 178 177
Number of Members of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) 232 230 236 231 220 294 227 129
Number of Board Certified Safety and  Health Professionals 232 245 264 271 277 299 304 310
Number of Members of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) 605 645 700 600 611 610 586 309
Total 1716 1766 1866 1750 1720 1812 1702 1208

* Data unavailable for AAOHN 2010, data unavailable for all groups for 2011

Rate of Occupational Health and Safety Professionals in Minnesota per 100,000 Workers, 2003-2010*

Professional Category 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Number of Board-Certified Occupational Medicine Physicians 2.56 2.5 2.59 2.7 2.85 2.97 3.2 3.1
Number of Members of the American College of Occ. and Env. Medicine (ACOEM) 3.82 3.32 3.45 3.52 3.68 3.44 3.3 3.3
Number of Board-Certified Occupational Health Nurses 5.33 5.14 5 5.33 4.33 4.28 4.2 4.0
Number of Members of the American Association of Occ. Health Nurses (AAOHN) 5.83 6.29 6.54 5.33 4.98 5.2 4.3 *
Number of Board-Certified Industrial Hygienists 5.76 5.82 6.08 6.15 6.24 6.41 6.6 6.5
Number of Members of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) 8.35 8.75 9.38 8.21 7.94 10.77 8.4 4.7
Number of Board Certified Safety and  Health Professionals 8.35 8.75 9.38 9.63 9.99 10.95 11.3 11.4
Number of Members of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) 21.8 23 24.9 21.3 22 23.3 21.7 11.4
Total 61.8 63.1 66.3 62.2 62.1 66.4 63 44.4

* Data unavailable for AAOHN 2010, data unavailable for all groups for 2011

An analysis of the number of occupational health and safety professionals in specific disciplines between 2000 and 2010 showed different trends. While the number of occupational physicians, industrial hygienists, and occupational health and safety professionals has increased slightly, the number of occupational nurses has declined.  This indicator makes use of data from professional organization membership rosters and may be an incomplete count of all individuals currently practicing in specific areas who are not be a member of these organizations.  However, even with a potential undercount, this indicator provides some quantitative measure of the number of health and safety professionals available to the working population.  Continued and increased efforts to recruit talented individuals to these career paths are necessary to ensure health and safety professionals are available for future employee populations.

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Updated Monday, 07-Apr-2014 09:24:00 CDT