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Program to help reduce preventable deaths

Returning home from work safely is something employees often take for granted, but workplace deaths can occur and most fatalities are preventable.

To promote safe work in industries around the world, The University of Queensland is offering a new two-year Master of Occupational Health and Safety Science program from 2017.

UQ School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Dr Margaret Cook said occupational health and safety (OHS) was about identifying, analysing and preventing workplace injury, illness and fatality.

“Globally, more than 2.3 million people die each year from work-related accidents and diseases, and 160 million people are made ill because of their work each year,” said Dr Cook.

“Every day, somewhere in the world, someone’s parents, children and friends are not coming home safely from work.

“It’s important to realise that many workplace deaths, injuries and illnesses are preventable.”

Dr Cook said the program is based on UQ’s internationally recognised Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety Science degree.

“Our programs have been developed in response to industry demands and enable students to learn from some of Australia’s leading OHS experts,” Dr Cook said.

“Our graduates are highly qualified professionals with a wealth of job opportunities across Australia and internationally.

“OHS qualifications open doors to a diverse range of industries such as agriculture, construction, mining, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail, tourism and transport.

“Two thirds of this 2016’s graduating undergraduate honours class have already accepted jobs with a range of employers, including Lendlease, Multiplex, Woodside Energy, Watpac, Swire and Safe Work Australia.”

Senior lecturer Dr Kelly Johnstone said, according to the 2012 National Safety Recruitment Salary Survey, OHS professionals’ wages were at least 90 per cent above the average Australian salary.

On average, packages range from $71,997 for graduates to $300,939 for OHS group managers.

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