Original Article

Descriptive Study of Safety and Health Training Content in Iran’s Universities and Higher Education Institutes


The root cause of many workplace incidents is the lack of knowledge on occupational safety and health principles. Despite the safety and health authorities in organizations, safety and health is the 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 have enough information about the level of safety and health-related education when they were in universities. In addition, there is not too much reliable published reports on the academic teaching of safety and health courses and syllabus in higher education in Iran. Therefore, the current study was aimed to provide a general view of the status of occupational safety and health teaching subjects in different academic disciplines (excluding specialized fields in occupational safety and health) in the Iranian higher educational system. Firstly, the latest edition of the entire program (curricula) of all academic disciplines held in Iranian universities was downloaded. Secondly, 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 were then studied to find out any safety and health-related topics. Finally, data were analyzed and reported. 251 academic disciplines in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME) and 771 disciplines 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 were included in the 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. Most health and safety courses presented in the MOHME academic majors were in the basic medical sciences category of disciplines. A majority of MSRT covered academic safety and health courses and topics were presented in the engineering category of disciplines. Presenting lessons with health and safety content at the MOHME ‎was more practical than that of the MSRT. The quality and quantity of teaching on safety and health topic were not at satisfactory levels. Revising the course syllabus of the academic disciplines and adding theoretical and practical courses related to each field's specific health and safety curriculum can make a significant contribution in improving the general knowledge of the safety and health of the university graduates. In turn, it improves future workplace safety and health conditions, managers’ insights and decision-makers on the importance of safety and health at work. It protects the people's life and the property of the organization.

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

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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. 2021;13(2):173-186.