CEI Directs Study on Industry Professions

The Center for Environmental Innovation, in partnership with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Center for Applied Environmental Public Health at Tulane University, is undertaking a project to gain a broad understanding of the current state of environmental, occupational health, industrial hygiene, safety, occupational medicine, loss control/prevention and risk management (EHS, OM, LC/P and RM) professionals within corporations, government, and non-government organizations.

The nation's leading EHS, OM , LC/P and RM professional associations and organizations have joined in this effort.

View a list of the current sponsors for this project.

The project is intended to be a real-life examination of the individuals who are practicing in one or more of the EHS, OM, LC/P and RM professions. In addition to gathering information from professionals, the study team will contact management to obtain their perspectives on and expectations of the EHS, OM , LC/P and RM function and professions.

The initial phase of the project will involve a general survey of professionals and managers combined with focus group sessions hosted at The Wharton School and other U.S. locations. Invitees to these sessions will include current EHS, OM and LC/P professionals and other individuals who represent various management positions in organizations. The purpose of this phase is to prove or disprove the underlying hypothesis that the professions may be in a difficult position to adequately deal with emerging issues. The deliverables of the survey and initial focus group sessions will include a report on the:

•Current state-of-the-health of the EHS, OM , LC/P and RM professions;

• Essential practices to avoid losing EHS, OM , LC/P and RM professionals; and

• Key areas for further investigation.

The completed report will be made available to the survey and focus group participants and also shared in various forms with the news media. Press releases will underscore the pivotal role that EHS, OM , LC/P, and RM professionals provide (along with academics and scientists) to solve emerging societal issues. The results from the initial phase of the project will enable subsequent studies to better define the nature and extent of the challenges and opportunities facing the professions and identify what should be done to effectively deal with them.

In the second phase of the project, the study team will interview key EHS, OM , LC/P and RM leaders and business managers through face-to-face meetings and/or phone interviews using standardized questionnaires. Additional focus group sessions will also be held in workshops adjunct to professional conferences.

This second phase will focus on the development of guidelines and best practices for organizations to use in maintaining and sustaining their EHS, OM , LC/P and RM professional workforce, for example: •Steps being taken to address the comi

ng wave of professional retirements,

•Current best practices to develop an EHS, OM , LC/P and RM professional workforce,

•Member needs from their professional associations and organizations, and

•Management's perspectives, expectations, and value for the EHS, OM , LC/P and RM function.

The intended audience for this information includes organizational management, human resource departments, EHS, OM , LC/P and RM functional managers, and professionals.

The Center for Environmental Innovation is located in Scottsdale, Ariz.