Original Article

Descriptive study of safety and health training content in Iran’s universities ‎and higher education institutes


Background and Aim: The root cause of many incidents in workplaces is the lack of knowledge on occupational safety and health principles. Despite the safety and health authorities in organizations, safety and health is a general responsibility of all other experts working in an organization. Experts and managers are expected to think, decide and work safely in workplaces. However, we don’t know how much they received safety and health related education when they were in universities. We have no reliable published report on the academic teaching of safety and health courses and syllabus in higher education in Iran.  Therefore, this study aimed to provide a general view of the status of teaching occupational safety and health subjects in different academic disciplines (excluding specialized fields in occupational safety and health) in the Iranian higher educational system.

Method: First, the latest edition of the entire program (curricula) of all academic disciplines held in Iran’s universities was downloaded. Then, the required information including discipline title, program’s degree, number of required (core) and elective (non-core) courses, and program’s date of approval were recorded in an Excel sheet. Every course’s title and syllabus are then studied to finding out any safety and health-related topics. Finally, data were analyzed and reported.

Results: 251 academic disciplines in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME) and 771 discipline in the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (MSRT) were investigated. Most of the curriculums have been revised by both ministries since 2011. Results showed that 20 percent of the MOHME‎ ‎disciplines and 10.4 percent of MSRT‎ disciplines are included in occupational safety and health courses. The number of courses with health and safety content (syllabus outline) in the MOHME ‎ ‎and the MSRT‎ were 168 and 173 respectively. Most health and safety courses presented in the MOHME academic majors were in the basic medical sciences category of disciplines. In MSRT covered academic majors most of the safety and health courses and topics were presented in the Engineering category of disciplines. Presenting lessons with health and safety content at the MOHME ‎ ‎is more practical than that of the MSRT.

Discussion and Conclusion: The quality and quantity of teaching on safety and health topic are not at satisfactory levels. Revising the course syllabus of the academic disciplines and adding theoretical and practical courses related to the specific health and safety curriculum of each field can make a significant contribution to improving the general knowledge of the safety and health of the university graduates. It is, in turn, improves future workplace safety and health conditions, managers' insights and decision-makers on the importance of safety and health at work, and protects the people's life and the property of the organization.

IssueVol 13 No 2 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
safety and health‎ discipline‎ syllabus‎ higher education‎ course‎ Iran

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Vahabi M, Pouyakian M, Mohammadi Z, Hesam G, Afifehzadeh Kashani H. Descriptive study of safety and health training content in Iran’s universities ‎and higher education institutes. Int J Occup Hyg. 13(2):xxx-xxx.