Code of Ethics for Occupational Health Professionals (ICOH, 2014)


The International Code of Ethics for Occupational Health Professionals is relevant to many professional groups that carry out tasks and commitments related to safety, hygiene, health and the environment related to work in public and private sector companies.

This Code applies to the activities of occupational health professionals both when acting individually and when they are part of organizations or companies that provide services to customers and consumers.

The International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) is committed to developing an International Code of Ethics for Occupational Health Professionals, other than the other Existing Codes of Ethics for Physicians, for several reasons:

  • The first reason is the recognition of the responsibilities of occupational health and safety professionals in relation to workers, employers, the public, public health and labour authorities, and other institutions such as social security and judicial authorities (which are increasingly complex, and sometimes contradictory)
  • The second reason is the increase in the number of occupational health and safety professionals, as a result of the compulsory or voluntary establishment of occupational health services. Another factor to consider is the emerging development of the multidisciplinary approach to occupational health, which involves specialists from different professions getting involved in occupational health services.

The ICOH Board of Directors approved the new International Code of Ethics for Occupational Health Professionals on February 10, 2014.

This Code of Ethics represents an attempt to translate in terms of professional conduct ethical values and principles in occupational health. It tries to guide all those who carry out activities related to occupational health and establish a reference level based on which their performance can be evaluated. Its objective is also to contribute to the development of a common set of principles for cooperation among all stakeholders, as well as to promote teamwork and a multidisciplinary approach to occupational health.

Occupational health ethics is essentially a field of interactions between many partners. Good occupational health is exclusive, not exclusive. The development and application of professional standards of conduct not only involve occupational health professionals but also those who will benefit or may feel threatened by their practice, as well as those who support their implementation or report their deficiencies.

Attention should therefore be paid to this document and should be reviewed whenever deemed necessary. Comments to improve their content should be addressed to the Secretary-General of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH).


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