News | June 17, 1999

Tips for Hiring Occupational Health Professionals

OSHA is offering help for employers who want to hire occupational health professionals, but who are unsure of what qualifications are important or of what questions to ask job applicants.

"The Occupational Health Professional's Services and Qualifications: Questions and Answers" is available on-line at It includes information about the workplace issues employers should consider when selecting a health care professional; the unique contributions an occupational health professional can make to an occupational safety and health program; and tools to use to evaluate the qualifications of an occupational health provider.

OSHA suggests asking these questions when interviewing prospective candidates:

  • What type of education/training do you have? (Note the graduation date, any specialty certifications, amount and type of continuing education, where and when licensed, registered or certified, and years in occupational health.)
  • In which industries have you worked?
  • What type of management experience do you have?
  • What do you know about OSHA recordkeeping requirements?
  • Have you ever prepared for or participated in an OSHA inspection?
  • Do you know about workers' compensation laws in this state?
  • Are you familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act?
  • What do you want to know about this business/industry? (Expect them to ask about the number of facilities and employees; the work processes; known or potential hazards; current method of providing occupational health care; application of standards or regulations; medical surveillance programs; specifics of the safety and health program; and previous OSHA citations.)
  • How can you help develop or improve our safety and health programs?